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EPIPHANY BLESSING OF THE HOME

Epiphany is a day for open-door hospitality, a day to make our homes glitter with the exuberance and the mystery of gold, frankincense and myrrh.


The word Epiphany means "revelation." Some people call it the Twelfth Night - the Twelfth Day of Christmas, the day our true love sends the most lavish gifts. In our heritage, Epiphany is a triple celebration of the adoration of the magi, the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan, and the wedding at Cana. Stars and clouds, wine and water, rivers and skies - every element in the universe reveals the good news: Jesus Christ is Lord! Christ is our true love!

Such a grand day deserves a grand tradition: For the Epiphany blessing of the home, divide a mince pie-or any cake-into as many pieces as you have participants. Hide a trinket or coin in one piece and distribute at random. Whoever gets the trinket or coin is crowned (party hat?), robed (comics taped together?), saluted (New Year's noisemakers?), and toasted (with hot, buttered whatever) as king or queen of the new year. And if you want to keep this custom to its fullest, the person who gets the trinket or coin is obliged to host the carnival party on one of the days before Ash Wednesday!

Now the newly crowned royalty gets to write above the front door with chalk

20 + C + M + B + 00

The four crosses are the four seasons. C-M-B are the initials of the magi: Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar. That's how we mark our doorways to welcome all guests as Christ. That's how we bless our homes in this new year.

Then everybody walks from room to room sprinkling the home with water, a sign of the River Jordan. Pluck a twig from the Christmas tree to use as a sprinkler, and sing a favorite carol during this procession.

All of us are kings and queens who have come to adore the Lord. For the star shines over us, we who have passed through the Jordan of baptism - we who bear the name of Christ!

 

 
 

Prayerbook

A Catholic Religious Site

"A Collage of Catholic Information"

SUBJECTS