Learning and Living the Feast
There are a number of sites with examples of regional customs some that expound on the history and legends associated with this feast day. Esther has posted some wonderful customs and prayers, and Helen has the ceremony all set out for us for the tradition of the Epiphany blessing, which features marking over the doorway of your home with blessed chalk.
The legend of the Three Kings of Cologne is a fascinating read for the day. In this telling of the story of the three Kings, you find that they are buried in Cologne, Germany! I tried to find some pictures of the altar in which reside the relics of Balthazar, Gaspar and Melchior, who are considered in tradition to be at least saintly, (though I do not believe that they are on the roster of saints), but had no luck. Doggone. I had also wanted to get ahold of a copy of the movie with Martin Sheen, The Fourth Wise Man, a wonderful book I read a couple of years ago, but didn't get on top of that in time. =Sigh= I'm such an example of organization.
In previous years, when we have not been overly harassed by comings and goings and not being able to find decorations that are still packed away... We have celebrated the Epiphany by decorating the dining room table with a treasure chest filled with faux jewels, rosaries, and chocolate gold pieces, as well as vials meant to symbolize frankinsense and myrrh. One year we actually were energetic enough to get together an Epiphany cake, in which we baked three "gold" rings. Sarah Ban Breathnach's Mrs. Sharp's Traditions has wonderful party ideas for the day that we have tried to imitate.
But this year, we wimped out. We settled for a "Mediterranean Feast" to celebrate the day and to kick off an investigation we want to start about that region of the world that keeps coming up over and over again in our conversations around here. (I'll post about that next week!) We sang the Three King's Song (You know the one ~ without the "rubber cigar" wording, though...)and, after Mommy gets OFF THE COMPUTER, we'll have some ice cream.
Some years, we do it up big, some years it doesn't work. A feastday doesn't need to be much to be memorable, though, really. And, sometimes, if we get overwhelmed by the planning of a big "to do" we end up not doing anything at all. Simple works just fine, I've found, and I no longer feel guilty about little celebrations. As it turned out this year, the children will remember the singing. They'll remember the kings appearing over Jesus' manger this morning, after moving about the house for the last twelve days. They'll appreciate the ice cream.
And Mommy didn't have to get stressed out by doing more this weekend than she was ready to do.
Other Miscellaneous Stuff
Have you ever watched how the bingo machine works at a bingo hall? The balls fly around and around and one just sorta randomly pops up to the tube on top, ya know? That's the ideas and inspiration and fluff that fly around in my brain when I'm trying to decide what to post about. You just never know what's going to end up on top... And the chapel name has finally found its way to the top.
We did have some really good suggestions! But the children's vote tipped it to "Silent Night Chapel," which Bia suggested. Thank-you, Bia!
We also said "So long for now" to our boys who left for school this weekend. Biggest brother, Paul, left last weekend, Kevvy left last Tuesday, and Jon and Dominic, pictured here with their doting sister, Michelle, took off Saturday morning. =Sigh= We'll miss them!
Our 7 year old, Cathy, just came up to me (Never underestimate how much little ones overhear adult conversations and remarks...) and asked, "Is Anorexic dead?"
"Um, well, no, not necessarily" I said, trying to figure out what she meant exactly. "Anorexia is a disease that can make you very sick and sometimes kills people."
She looked at me puzzled and went away. I didn't understand why she was puzzled until big sis, Michelle, came in laughing a minute later. Cathy had gone to her for further information, not accepting my explanation because it made no sense to her...
... considering she thought that Anna Rexic was a person!
(Still giggling over that one!)