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A Epiphany Celebration - We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage

Three men on camels traveling a path through rocks and rolling hills against a sky filled with a bright North Star and dozens of blue circles surrounding smaller yellow stars.

The traditional date of Epiphany is January 6th, but in the United States, it is celebrated on the Sunday between January 2 and January 8. The celebration of Epiphany (which means manifestation) "is the twelfth night of Christmas", it originated in Egypt sometime in the third century. Epiphany is traditionally celebrated in honor of Christ's birth, the adoration of the Magi, and of the baptism of Christ (also celebrated on the first Sunday following Epiphany), which are the three manifestations of the Lord's divinity.

Several lovely family customs are associated with Epiphany. It is on Epiphany that the Christmas creche is finally completed, as the figures of the three wise men finally arrive at the crib. In many families, the wise men are moved a bit closer to the crib every day from Christmas until Epiphany. Also, recalling the gifts to the Infant Jesus, many families exchange small gifts.

The Blessing of the Home is also a popular Epiphany custom. Using specially blessed chalk (your parish priest will bless the chalk, if you ask), many households mark their entrance door with the year and with the inscriptions CMB which stands for Christus Mansionem Benedicat, which means "Christ, bless this home." It is also believed to be the initials of the names of the three Magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. The popular form of the inscription is 20+C+M+B+24. It remains above the door until Pentecost.

The home blessing may also include a blessing of holy water (also from your parish community) and/or incense.

A common custom in many cultures is the Epiphany cake containing a trinket or bean, the person finding in their piece becoming the king of the feast. Some bakeries feature these cakes during the holiday season, or your family could back a simple cake and decorate it like a crown.

-From the Catechesis of the Good Shepard

Our church, The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, will be having an Epiphany Celebration and Service on Saturday, January 6th at 5:30pm. All are welcome to join us in celebration. Nursery care will be provided.


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