Sunday, January 7, 2007

Epiphany

Happy Epiphany! Epiphany is the feast on which we commemorate the visitation of the Christ child by the three magi. On the old calendar, prior to the revised liturgical calendar developed after the Second Vatican Council, Epiphany was always celebrated on 7 January and marked the twelfth day and, hence, the end of Christmas. On the new calendar it is the second Sunday after Christmas, Holy Family is the Sunday immediately following Christmas, except in years that 1 January falls on the first Sunday after Christmas, in which case, as a solemnity, it trumps a feast. Clear enough for you?
Anyway, this year Epiphany falls on its formerly fixed date. Tomorrow, 8 January, is the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which now marks the end of the liturgical season of Christmas. So, last night we hosted our annual Epiphany get together at our house. We invite over a few friends and neighbors. We eat, drink some wine, and get caught up since, as parents, we rarely get together. Then, about the middle of the evening, we have the ceremony of throwing out the Christmas tree, carrying it to the curb, or, last night, into the back yard, while singing Christmas carols. We cut branches off the tree, hold a liturgical ceremony, and then, along with our family and friends, we bless our house with holy water, sprinkling it with the branches from the tree. After this, we take the blessed chalk and write above our door, as the final act of annual home blessing, C+M+B 07.
For Caspar, Melchior, and the Balthasar, the traditional names of the three wise men and 07 for the year.

Anyway, last night was a lot of fun. Thanks to Laura, Bodie, and Cayden, to Clair, Chloe, and Mason, to Robert, Jenny, David, Christopher, and Daniel, to Therese, Steve, Emily, and Jessica, to Brian, Jennifer, Tim, and Anna, to Chris, Cathy, Joseph, Maria, Michael, Peter, and C.J. Of course, a big thanks to my lovely wife for making it all happen and arranging it so all I had to do was show up. On this feast of the revelation of the Lord, Happy Epiphany! To all Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Christians, Merry Christmas!

3 comments:

  1. Happy Epiphany to you Scott! I'm having trouble taking the tree down, which is certainly a new thing for me! I've loved turning on the lights on the tree each day this past week, with increased gratitude for the season of Christmas.

    Thank you.

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  2. Tami,

    That is great. Keep th tree up until tomorrow night, then Christmas will truly be over! Besides, tomorrow will be exciting

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  3. Today will be exciting?
    Oh! I think I found the answer to that question! I went looking for the liturgical calendar, and saw Gregs new post at The People of St. Mary Magdalene.

    Yes, very exciting!

    For a minute there, I thought you just hadn't finished your last sentance. ;)

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