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For Catholics, the Christmas season does not end on Christmas Day. In fact, the 12 days of Christmas doesn’t end until the feast of the Epiphany on January 6th. In this post, I’m sharing how we celebrate Epiphany in the catholic home.
The feast of the Epiphany commemorates the visit of the Magi to the Holy Family to adore the Christ Child. And this special feast day is often referred to as a second Christmas in a sense.
It’s is kind of a big deal for Roman Catholics and is celebrated with a variety of traditions throughout the world.
I wanted to share a few things that our family does to make this day special for our children and to help aid in their love for catholic tradition.
The traditional catholic faith is so rich in beauty!
One of the most common traditions among Christian families is the blessing of the home with holy water. This is typically led by the parish priest, but can be done by the father of the home when a priest is unavailable.
Then each entrance of your home is inscribed with blessed chalk. It is inscribed with the sign of the cross that represents Christ, the initials of the Magi along with the current year.
The following is how it would be done for this new year:
20 + C + M + B + 22
The letters also may represent this Latin text: “Christus mansionem benedicat“, which means, “May Christ bless this house“.
The following text explains the chalking of the doors tradition a bit more, taken from the book Around the Year with the Von Trapp Family.
Cupcakes & Jelly Beans
This is one of my absolute favorite traditions from my childhood for the feast of Epiphany. Not so much for the sweet treats, but because everyone wanted to get one of those jelly beans!
Here’s how it was celebrated for Epiphany in our home.
Each year for the party, 3 jelly beans are hidden inside of 3 random cupcakes. Each bean represents a special virtue that the recipient will try to practice more in the new year.
- gold represents charity & love
- frankincense represents prayer
- myrrh represents sacrifice
You could use whichever color jelly bean you wish to represent each virtue. We typically do yellow (gold), orange (frankincense), and purple (myrrh). We like to use these organic jelly beans.
🏠 A few tips to get started:
- I like to plan out our liturgical celebrations for the year with keeping a liturgical binder. It is helpful to stay organized throughout the year.
- Create new traditions for your family by using some of these awesome resources for liturgical celebrations throughout the year.
- Get the children involved and have them help out! The older children especially love to help create plans for celebrations inside of the domestic church.
Another thing that many christian families do is to move the statues of the three wise men closer to the nativity scene as it gets closer to Epiphany day. Just as if they were traveling in the guidance of a star – to find the true God & Great King that they were seeking.
Then on that day, they arrive at the nativity along with the Blessed Mother of God, and St Joseph to adore the Infant Jesus.
Patron saints & scripture quotes
Another favorite tradition is to draw a patron saint for the year along with a quote. These are always very special to each family member.
Before the Epiphany party, choose a variety of saints and write or type them out on paper. Fold each saint’s name and place into a bowl.
Each family will draw a saint’s name from the bowl and that will be their special patron for the year. And they will try to learn as much as possible about this saint and pray for their intercession throughout the year.
The same goes for scripture or saint quotes. You’ll choose a variety of them – print or write them out on sheets of paper, fold them and add to another bowl. And each family member will draw one for the new year.
These are great family traditions that can help aid in spiritual growth throughout the coming year.
FAQS & TIPS
This time is known as Epiphany Season or Epiphany-tide. And is celebrated for a few weeks (up to about 6 Sundays) until Lent begins.
In Western Christianity, it commemorates the adoration of the Magi to the Baby Jesus.
Where would you like to start?