EPIPHANY

cmb2Today we celebrate the Epiphany or Three Kings’ Day. It is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God in his Son as human in Jesus Christ. The feast commemorates principally the visit of the Magi to the Christ child, and thus Jesus’ physical manifestation to the Gentiles.
The traditional date for the feast is January 6. However, since 1970, the celebration is held in some countries on the Sunday after January 1.
Popular Epiphany customs include Epiphany singing, chalking the door, having one’s house blessed, consuming Three Kings Cake and first of all attending church services.

We invite you to adopt the custom of the blessing of the house and “chalking the door” in your family. The family gathers (with a priest, if possible) to ask God’s blessing on their home and on those who live in or visit the home. It is an invitation for Jesus to be a daily guest in our home, our comings and goings, our conversations, our work and play, our joys and sorrows.

cmbA traditional way of doing this is to use chalk to write above the home’s entrance, 20 + C + M + B + 17. The letters C, M, B have two meanings. They are the initials of the traditional names of the three magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. They also abbreviate the Latin words Christus mansionem benedicat, “May Christ bless the house.” The “+” signs represent the cross and 2017 is the year.

It is customary for Christians in many localities to remove their Christmas decorations on Epiphany Eve (Twelfth Night), although those in other Christian countries historically remove them on February second – the Candlemass, 40 days after Christmas, on the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Mother also known as the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple.