**EPIPHANY PARTY **
- **Bless the house. ** EPIPHANY HOUSE BLESSING
It is an Epiphany custom to write the traditional names of the Magi in chalk on the lintel over the front door.
Ask your priest to bless the chalk.
Blessing of ChalkLet us pray. O Lord God, bless this creature chalk to make it helpful to man. Grant that we who use it with faith and inscribe with it upon the entrance of our homes may enjoy physical health and spiritual protection. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
House BlessingLord God of Heaven and Earth, who hast revealed Thine only-begotten Son to every nation by the guidance of a star: Bless this house and all who inhabit it. Fill them with the light of Christ, that their love for others may truly reflect Thy love. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
With the chalk write the following on the lintel over the front door.
The inscription stands for the Magi – Caspar, Balthazar and Melchior.
The inscription also stands for Christus Mansionem Benedicat, which means “Christ, bless this home.”
. It remains above the doorway until Pentecost.
A similar custom comes from the Greek Orthodox Church when the light from the Pascal candle is ‘caught’ by the congregation who carry home their lighted candles and mark a cross on the lintels of their home. –
The idea is to set apart your home as a place of Christian hospitality to all those who shall visit your home in the coming New Year, just as the Wise Men came to the house of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. By such an action you are saying, “May those who visit our home, also find Christ here in our midst.”
The concept of house blessings goes back to Christ Himself when He instructed His first ministers to say upon entering a home:
‘Peace to this house.’ If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. (Luke 10:5)
- ** Epiphany cake**
This can be a traditional French “galette de Rois” – almond paste filled pastry, or a just the cake you usually make/buy with a bean inserted into it. In France it is possible to buy little china kings. The cake can be iced in yellow representing the King or green, white and purple representing the Magi. It can be decorated with lolly ‘jewels’ if desired.
The person who finds the bean is the king/queen for the party. They can ask the others to perform forfeits e.g. recite a poem etc
- **Lamb’s Wool ** In England, Twelfth Night was traditionally celebrated with a drink called Lamb’s Wool, made of cider or ale, with roasted apples and sugar and spices (see recipe below). It was the custom to bless apple trees on that night by pouring a libation of cider on them.
This Old English and Irish punch, which dates form the Middle Ages, probably gets its name from the woolly appearance of the flesh of the roasted apples floating in the cider.
6 baking apples, cored (Granny Smith for Aussies! )
2 tablespoons to 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 quarts sweet cider, or hard cider, or ale or a mixture of cider and ale
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Peel and boil the apples until they are very soft and flaky. You may leave the apples whole, or break them up.
In a large saucepan, dissolve the sugar a few tablespoons at a time in the cider or ale, tasting for sweetness. Add the spices. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Pour the liquid over the apples in a large punch bowl, or serve in large heat resistant mugs.
Yield: About 8 one-cup servings
A pleasant custom is to not open some Christmas presents and hold them over until the Feast of the Epiphany and open them reminding ourselves of the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh the Magi gave to Jesus. Gold, representing his Kingship, Frankincense representing his role as High Priest and Myrrh representing that He would die to save us.
4. Dismantling the tree
The whole family (not just mum lol ) helps to remove and pack away the Christmas decorations.