Sunday, January 8, 2017

6 Ways to Celebrate Epiphany

Happy Epiphany Sunday!

Life got a bit harried here this end of Christmastide, so we were unable to celebrate Epiphany with all the traditions that we have in the past (like doorway chalk blessings).  However, we still observed both the traditional day of Epiphany (January 6) and this Epiphany Sunday with moments of prayer and joy.

Some highlights of our observances - which I pray will inspire you to slip in celebrations even during your own crazy, busy days - were:

Sharing Stories

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I did not have time to borrow all our favorite Epiphany read togethers from the library this year, so we simply shared two that we own.

Humphrey's First Christmas has gorgeously expressive illustrations and engaging text which tells the story of a cranky, yet endearing camel, who starts his journey "all about me", but ends "all about Him".  The book seemed especially meaningful this year as some preteen attitudes began infiltrating our home.  The message of being overwhelmed with love and letting that love change you hit home! 

I also love that the book ends with the name of Jesus since January is dedicated the Holy Name of Jesus.

Every year at this time, we borrow the single copy of the out-of-print The Story of the Three Wise Kings that our library owns.  This, year, though, we did not have to. 


Much to my delight, The Story of the Three Wise Kings has been reprinted in a collection called Joy to the World: Tomie's Christmas Stories, which was (and still is!) on sale and, thus, became my children's Epiphany gift.

We are all thrilled to own our own copy of the first Epiphany picture book story we ever read together.  It truly has become such a family tradition to read this story together that it does not seem like Epiphany for us until we do.
Enjoying Faith through Food

We love celebrating faith through food here, so, even when things were a bit crazy here on Friday, I set aside time to put together a quick and easy celebratory dinner that, this year, included a dout stable, a blueberry sky with cashew Star of Bethlehem, pineapple and pineapple juice "gold", chocolate-nuts-seed-dried fruit-spice "frankincense", and greens "myrrh".

The kids could not wait to dig in after we prayed, snapped a photo or two, and chatted about symbolism.

Celebrating Mass
Traditional Epiphany found a few inches of snow on our ground and Epiphany Sunday found a foot-and-a-half of the white stuff, but that did not stop us from celebrating Mass. 

I was blessed on Friday to have some quiet time on my own at Holy Hour with Divine Mercy, and, then, my husband and children joined me for the Mass which followed. 

Then, this morning, we were among those that braved shoveling out to get to Sunday Mass.  So glad we did!

Enjoying a Pageant

Truth be told, we had two reasons to shovel out this morning!  One, of course, was Mass.  The other was the children's Christmas pageant. 

For the first year since we had children, our parish decided to host a Christmas pageant.  Because the Christmas season is so busy for so many, those organizing the pageant decided to hold it just before the vigil Mass for Epiphany Sunday.   However, Mother Nature had another plan.

A blizzard postponed our final rehearsal and show until this morning!

That caused a bit of chaos, as our cast members, accompanist, fellow Mom volunteers, and audience members had to work hard to shovel out to get to the church, and, unfortunately, our set person never made it. 

Despite that, though, the pageant turned out well.  All the children did a beautiful job, including my three children, who were cast in five roles:

My girlie was the Angel Gabriel.

My youngest was Caesar Augustus and, then, a shepherd.  (Somehow, we failed to get a photo of him as the latter, which is too bad, because he looked so cute!)

And, my oldest was a prophet, and, then, a townsperson.

Yours truly volunteered to co-direct and enjoyed doing so.
Praying for Babies
Every year, our church hands out baby bottles at the beginning of Advent to be filled with change through Epiphany to support the work of the Respect Life Committee.

My children love filling the bottle with loose change and bills, making secret offerings to it, as well as ones we make as a family. 

Due to the chaos from the blizzard this morning, we did not remember to bring our bottle to return this week (but will get it to the committee later!)  We did, though, remember to make special time to recall how Jesus came to earth as a baby and to offer extra prayers for babies today.

Learning about the Star of Bethlehem

We haven't actually done this yet, but as we settle for bed tonight, we are going to snuggle up with a library copy of The Star of Bethlehem

We have never watched this documentary before, but it was recommended to me by friends, so we are excited to see what we might learn from it.

May this Epiphany bring you blessings and joy, no matter what else may be happening in life!


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