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Friday, January 7, 2011
The Celebration of Epiphany
The main event for us is to fill our shoes with the gifts of The Magi on The Eve of Epiphany or Twelfth Night.
The Symbols of the Gifts of the Magi are as follows~
♥The gold as a sign of His Kingship. The gifts of gold and frankincense were both prophesied by Isaias in the sixth chapter of his book.
♥The frankincense -- a gum resin (i.e., dried tree sap) from the Boswellia tree, native to Somalia and southern coastal Arabia -- as a sign of His Deity. Mixed with stacte, and onycha, and sweet galbanum, it was used by Moses to set before the tabernacle as an offering to God, and was considered so "holy to the Lord" that it was forbidden to use profanely (see Numbers 30).
♥The myrrh -- a brownish gum resin from the Commiphora abyssinica tree, native to eastern Africa and Arabia, and used in embalming -- as a sign of His death. Myrrh, along with cinnamon and cassius, was used by Moses to "anoint the tabernacle of the testimony, and the ark of the testament" (Numbers 30). It has analgesic properties, too, and was offered, mixed with wine, to Christ on the Cross, which He refused (Mark 15:23). Nicodemus brought myrrh to annoint Our Lord's Body after death (John 19:39).
We represent these by these gifts within the shoes
Gold = Gold Coins
Frankensense = Tea
Myrrh = Cloves or I have used a small stone
We also add Jelly beans and the symbols for this are: The reason for the Jelly Beans is to show all of the blessings we have in Christ~
Red is for the blood He gave,
Green is for the grass He made,
Yellow is for the sun so bright,
Orange is for the edge of night.
Black, white, brown, yellow and red is for the children He made
All of these colors receive the grace He gave,
Purple is for the hour of sorrow,
Pink is for the new tomorrow.
From Annie's Page
We also add a 'holy card picture' I have found for the year but this year our photocopier is broken so Eden drew this 4 choice of pictures. We will get the children to colour them tomorrow to add to the collection we keep for our remembrances of Feast Days. At the moment they are rolled up in the shoes but after they are coloured in we will laminate them so they can be used as bookmarks if wanted.
Plans for the day include ~ making a Three Kings Cake, with three beans inside to designate the Three Kings for the day.
I hope to also have the children do a small re-enactment of The Three Kings arriving to give their gifts to the Christ Child.
A special event to celebrate this day is to have a Blessing of the Home Ceremony. This one from Fisheaters is as nice as any I have.
The three Magi -- Caspar (a.k.a., Gaspar, Kaspar or Jaspar), Melchior, and Balthasar -- are seen as the "first fruits of the Gentiles" -- those outside of Israel who came to faith. They undoubtedly travelled from Persia (modern Iran, a distance of about a thousand miles from Bethlehem), and their ancestral origins are probably found in Persia, Babylon (modern Iraq), Arabia, India, and/or Ethiopia.
Now, if they were Magi -- members of the priestly class -- why are they called "Kings"? Because of these verses from Sacred Scripture:
He shall come down like rain upon the fleece; and as showers falling gently upon the earth. In his days shall justice spring up, and abundance of peace, till the moon be taken sway. And he shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. Before him the Ethiopians shall fall down: and his enemies shall lick the ground. The kings of Tharsis and the islands shall offer presents: the kings of the Arabians and of Saba shall bring gifts: And all kings of the earth shall adore him: all nations shall serve him
Arise, be enlightened, O Jerusalem: for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold darkness shall cover the earth, and a mist the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light, and kings in the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thy eyes round about, and see: all these are gathered together, they are come to thee: thy sons shall come from afar, and thy daughters shall rise up at thy side. Then shalt thou see, and abound, and thy heart shall wonder and be enlarged, when the multitude of the sea shall be converted to thee, the. strength of the Gentiles shall come to thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Madian and Epha: all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense: and shewing forth praise to the Lord.
Cologne Cathedral and Reliquary of the Three KingsHow do we know there were three? We don't know that from Scripture, but tradition relates that were were three, and that there were three gifts mentioned supports this notion as well. Tradition says, too, that these three men were representative of the three ages of man and of the three "racial types" of man, the three families that descended from Noe's three sons (Sem, Cham, and Japheth). According to tradition, Caspar was the young, beardless, ruddy descendant of Ham who brought frankincense. Melchior was an old, white-haired, bearded descendant of Sem who brought gold. And Balthasar was a bearded black descendant of Japheth, in the prime of his life, who brought myrrh (see the works of the Venerable Bede). From Fisheaters
A Family Prayer for Epiphany~
by your heavenly star,
you guided those who were wise
to your beloved Son, Jesus Christ.
May your blessing come to rest on our home and all of us.
Make our lives wise with your wisdom,
true to your teaching,
and enlivened by your love.
May your Word made flesh
make his home among us. Amen.
Blessings to you and your homes,