Tag Archives: Epiphany

An old Epiphany tradition

There was an old Epiphany tradition in Europe, the “chalking of the door.”

On the 6th January (The Feast of the Epiphany – marking the visit to the infant Jesus by the Magi), friends and neighbours used to go to a particular house to pray  the Magi’s and Christ’s own blessing upon it.

A prayer would be said, or a brief responsive liturgy recited.

Tradition has it that the Magi or Wise Men were called Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar.

The initials CMB are also an abbreviation of a house blessing in Latin, “Christus mansionem benedicat” meaning  “May Christ bless this dwelling.”

The guests would then chalk on the lintel of the door to the dwelling these three letters, interspersed with crosses and flanked by the numbers of the present year.

Now, fancy that!

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The Feast of the Epiphany

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January 6, 2017 · 15:47

Breakfast realised


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August 8, 2016 · 11:29



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January 14, 2016 · 11:47

A legend about the Magi (or Wise Men)

There is an ancient legend that tells how the Magi for a time lost sight of the star. They had started out with high resolve, holy purpose, and hopeful expectation.

Together, they rode for mile upon mile, excitedly, hopefully, eagerly awaiting the conclusion of their quest.

At first, as is the case with many journeys, conversation was light hearted and somewhat trivial.

Then it became more profound, more philosophical, more concentrated on the enormity of the implications of their vision.

Riding over the desert sands they began to speculate on what would happen when they arrived. Obviously, being men of considerable prominence, they began to take pride in the fact that they would be the first to discover and recognize the new king.
Soon, however, they began to quarrel among themselves. Who would present the first gift? Who would do the speaking? Whose gift had the most worth, would be the most useful, or symbolized the most devotion?

Without meaning to, and yet because they were only human, they became estranged from one another. So many petty thoughts filled their minds that they began to fight among themselves. The night of the first quarrel, the star was gone!

For a time they wandered aimlessly, arguing frequently, despairing alternately. The star had disappeared. So had their hope and enthusiasm. The noble adventure seemed doomed. They became lost and wandering nomads, far from home, with their journey uncompleted, their treasure unshared, their quest unfulfilled.

Then one night, these lost wanderers stumbled on an oasis in the wilderness. Other travellers had already arrived and were gathered about a shallow well that had gone dry. The first arrivals had already used up the little water that was to be found at the bottom of the well, and were now waiting for either help or death.

Then it was that the Magi, with no arguing, but in genuine humanitarianism, brought out their water bags and emptied them into the well that the others might drink.
Suddenly, the bleak camp of despair became a place of hope, hospitality, and happiness.

But the most miraculous thing of all was that, while together, they emptied their water bags into the well, looking down into the water, they saw the reflection of the star.

Once again they found their way. The star they lost in self-seeking, they found again in humility. That which had become obscured by petty pride became obvious again in sacrificial sharing.

A lesson for us all as we enter this New Year?  A true epiphany for us as we journey into 2016?

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The Feast of the Epiphany


O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness,
bow down before him, his glory proclaim;
with gold of obedience and incense of lowliness,
kneel and adore him. the Lord is his name.

Low at his feet lay thy burden of carefulness,
high on his heart he will bear it for thee,
comfort thy sorrows, and answer thy prayerfulness,
guiding thy steps as may best for thee be.

Fear not to enter his courts in the slenderness
of the poor wealth thou wouldst reckon as thine;
truth is its beauty and love in its tenderness:
these are the offerings to lay on his shrine.

These, though we bring them in trembling and fearfulness,
he will accept for the name that is dear;
mornings of joy give for evenings of tearfulness,
trust for our trembling, and hope for our fear.

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness,
bow down before him, his glory proclaim;
with gold of obedience and incense of lowliness,
kneel and adore him, the Lord is his name.

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for the Feast of the Epiphany 2



via David Mcfie

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for the Feast of Epiphany (via David Mcfie)


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January 6, 2015 · 11:10

Twelfth Night (via Huff Post Comedy)

12 Fun Facts About Twelfth Night
Andrea Mann
The Huffington Post UK
05/01/15 17:15
It’s Twelfth Night! The day after Eleventh Night! But how well do you really know the marking of the end of Christmastide and the coming of the Epiphany? Here are 12 amazing and possibly untrue facts about it (with apologies to Wikipedia)…

1. Twelfth Night is traditionally the evening before Epiphany, which is also the name of Katie Price’s youngest child.

2. Twelfth Night marks the end of the winter festival that begins with All Hallow’s Eve and ends with the last Quality Street being eaten.

3. Some say that if you leave Christmas decorations up after Twelfth Night, bad luck will befall your house. These people are idiots.

4. Whether Twelfth Night is celebrated on the 5th or 6th of January is the subject of heated debate amongst scholars, historians and pub quiz contestants.

5. In some places, particularly South West England, Old Twelfth Night is celebrated on 17 January. Some say this is due to it being the date determined by the Julian calendar; others say it is due to it being South West England.

6. The drink traditionally consumed on Twelfth Night in Britain is ‘wassail’ – a concoction made by mixing any drinks you have leftover from Christmas and/or the contents of a selection of mini liqueurs.

7. Since 1795, the Drury Lane Theatre in London has always provided a cake for the company in residence on Twelfth Night. There was controversy during the run of ‘My Fair Lady’, however, when Julie Andrews was rumoured to receive a slightly larger slice than her co-stars.

8. During medieval times, a cake that contained a bean was traditionally eaten at the beginning of Twelfth Night festival. The person who found the bean would then ‘rule the feast’ – a medieval term meaning ‘be the first to fart’.

9. In colonial America, Christmas wreaths were traditionally taken down from the fronts of houses on Twelfth Night, and any edible portions would be eaten. Some modern-day Americans still try this, despite their wreaths being made entirely of plastic.

10. In parts of Kent, an edible decoration would be the last part of Christmas to be removed on Twelfth Night, and would be shared amongst the family. This tradition continues to this day, with the decoration usually being a melted chocolate Santa found down the back of the sofa.

11. In the eastern Alps, a tradition called ‘Perchtenlaufen’ exists. Two to three hundred masked young men rush about the streets with whips and bells driving out evil spirits. Or as it’s known in most parts of England: ‘a Friday night’.

12. Shakespeare’s play ‘Twelfth Night’ is a comedy about people failing to take down their Christmas cards.

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a cartoon for Epiphany

a cartoon for Epiphany

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January 6, 2014 · 16:34