Friday, 6 January 2012

Happy Feast!

Today the Christmas season is brought to an end with the wonderful Feast of Epiphany. It is time for the three Wise men to enter our crib scenes as they did in Bethleham on the first Christmas. We save a small gift for today to represent the gifts of the Magi. In Spain this is the main gift giving day.
Today, ask a priest at Mass to bless a piece of chalk for you and when you return home perform the blessing using the chalk as follows:- 
+Epiphany Blessing Of A Home+

All make the Sign of the Cross.
Head of Household: "Peace be to this house and: to all who dwell here, in the name of the Lord.

All: Blessed be God forever.

Reader: In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be..... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-3.14)

Using chalk, write on the outside of your house, above or next to an entrance, numbers and initials:

This stands for the first half of the current year, Christus Mansionem Benedicat (Christ bless this house) followed by the second half of the current year 
The intials may also stand for the three Wise men, Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar

All: Lord God of heaven and earth, you revealed your only begotten Son to every nation by the guidance of a star. Bless this house and all who inhabit it. May we be blessed with health, goodness of heart, gentleness and the keeping of your law. Fill us with the light of Christ, that our love for each other may go out to all. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Take your decorations down but leave your crib in place - the Magi have just arrived after all! It can remain until the Feast of Candlemas in February. We also leave a tiny piece of tinsel in there to represent the Christmas joy we have just experienced.
Some readers might also like to write to their Bishop today and ask him to return the feast to its correct day (in the UK it is moved to the nearest Sunday) but whatever you do go to Mass and celebrate.

1 comment:

  1. Thankfully, 6th Jan falls on a Sunday next year. May I suggest that the HFG has an Epiphany Party that day, with adults and children wearing themed fancy dress and bringing Iraqi/eastern food to share (e.g. falafels, rice, maqluba, kebabs, mezza, bamia, quzi, dolma, mahshi, masgouf, etc.). There are various Epiphany games we could play together, plus - of course - plenty of Epiphany carols we could sing, and various reflections and prayers that could be fitted in. We're happy for our house to be the venue (the decorations will still be up!), or we could find a church hall somewhere...