Epiphany, January 6th, or the Sunday between the 2nd and 8th
To Do: The Epiphany Household Blessing: Chalking of the Door
Get your house blessed today.A priest can do this or just Dad.You need chalk. (Which you can also get blessed by your priest at church this Sunday.He’ll know what to do.) You write these symbols on the side or over the doorpost of your front door. (20-C-M-B-12--the initials of the three wise men [Caspar, Melchoir, Balshazzar], which can also be interpreted to mean Christus mansionem benedicat [Christ bless this home])
Leader: At the end of these days of Christmastide, we keep this Feast of Epiphany. We celebrate Christ made known to the Magi, to John in the River Jordan, and to the disciples at the wedding in Cana. Today Christ is made known to us! Today this home is a holy place!
Leader: Peace be to this house and to all who enter here.
Leader: Let us pray. O God, who by the guidance of a star didst on this day manifest Thine only-begotten Son to the Gentiles, mercifully grant that we who know Thee by faith may also attain the vision of Thy glorious majesty. Through Christ our Lord.
Leader: Be enlightened, be enlightened, O Jerusalem, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee—Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary.
All: And the Gentiles shall walk in Thy light and kings in the splendor of Thy rising, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon thee.
Take (blessed) chalk (of any color) and mark on the lintel of your front door 20 + C + M + B + ( ) saying:
Leader: The Magi, C Caspar, M Melchior, B and Balthasar …came from the east to Bethlehem to adore the Lord. “They went into the house, and when they saw the child with His mother Mary, they knelt down and worshiped him. They brought out their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and presented them to Him.” [Matthew 2:11]
20 two thousand ( ) years ago.
May + Christ (Christus), + our Home (Mansionem) + Bless (Benedicat) + and remain with us throughout the new year. Amen.
Reader: A reading from Proverbs 24:3-4:”Through wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; By knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches.”
Reader: A reading from Isaiah 32:16-18 : “Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, And righteousness remain in the fruitful field. The work of righteousness will be peace, And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places, ”
Leader: Let us pray. Bless, O Lord God almighty, this home, that in it there may be health, purity, the strength of victory, humility, goodness and mercy, the fulfillment of Thy law, and thanksgiving to God the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. May this blessing remain upon this home and upon all who dwell herein. May we never forget Christ is present in the love and care we manifest to each other daily. May all who come rejoice to find Christ living among us as we seek and serve, in everyone we meet, that same Jesus who is Thine incarnate Word. Through Christ our Lord.
Leader: Lord, remember your children and teach us to pray:
All: Our Father…
People may make the sign of the cross in remembrance of their baptism.
Leader: May the Lord watch + over our going out and our coming in, from this time forth and forevermore.
With younger children or children who love to put on plays, you could do a very impromptu skit.Probably the best part of this is finding the costumes—bathrobes, towels on heads, sheets and blankets.You can put on this performance by having someone read the gospel story (Matthew 2:1-18)and having your actors do their thing with vocals or not.Here is a children’s paraphrase: http://www.dltk-bible.com/cv/the_wise_men.htm
I suggested this activity back on Christ the King, but it is also very appropriate for this day.So get out your pretty scraps and paper and get busy.
Move your wisemen If you haven’t yet, unite your kings to your creche. We keep ours on a distant shelf until this day.
Gift Giving In some countries, this is the day that gifts are given, since the wisemen gave gifts to Christ.To commemorate this, you could save one last gift to give to your kids.
Finding the Bean and being King for the day! See below.
Any royal type or favorite food is fine for this day.One tradition we do on this day is to bury a bean (an uncooked kidney or navy bean) in a cake.The tradition goes that whoever gets the bean gets to be the “King” for the rest of the day.In our home, it means he doesn’t have to do his dinner chores and any other ways we can think of to indulge our “King.”
As far as cakes go, we don’t have a set favorite for our traditional cake yet. But maybe that is the tradition: that we try a new cake every year.
We have had Red Velvet Cake, Oreo Cake, and even Ice Cream cake.I use this excuse for trying out a new recipe.You can also top it with a crown—either a costume one or one that you cut out of gold paper. Just remember to stir the bean into the cake batter befoe cooking.If you forget, you can tuck it in before icing the cake.
To Pray: From the Collect of today’s Mass
Collect: May the splendor of your majesty, O Lord, we pray, shed its light upon our hearts, that we may pass through the shadows of this world and reach the brightness of our eternal home. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.