The feast of the Epiphany is held 12 days after Christmas on January 6th. We celebrate Epiphany at church on the Sunday after New Year's Day, but we can celebrate it at home on the 6th as well.
Epiphany is when the Wise Men, or Magi, brought gifts to the baby Jesus. The gift of gold represents Jesus' Kingship in Heaven, the frankincense recognized his Divine nature since we use incense to bless things and when we pray , and the myrrh foretold his inevitable death as man. The story is found in Matthew 2:1 - 12.
Epiphany means 'an appearance or a showing'. Jesus was shown to the world, as a King, when the Magi found Him in Bethlehem. They had traveled a very long way, and so they represent the whole world looking for Jesus. Jesus was shown to be the Son of God, at His baptism at the river Jordan. When his cousin, John the Baptist, baptized him in the river, the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, appeared over his head. A voice said; "This is My Son, of whom I am proud." Jesus was also shown to be Divine, that means God Himself, when He changed water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana. This was His first miracle.
A Prayer for the New Year
O God, We thank you for all the good things that happened in our family last year. We thank you for_______________________ We thank you for this new year that has just begun. Help us to be loving in our family.
Help us to be loving toward our friends. Help us to be loving to ___________________________________
Help us to learn more about Jesus so we will know more about how you want us to live.
Thank you, God, for this new year. Amen
Suggested Children's Books & DVD's
Family Epiphany Activities
Create a family Christ Candle. Take a pillar candle and with sheets of wax, decorate the candle with symbols about Jesus as Light of the world.
Encourage family members to be on the lookout for stars in this activity, The Christmas Star.
Watch the DVD, "Amal and the Night Visitors".
Have an Epiphany House Blessing. An Epiphany house blessing is a traditional Catholic custom in which the three Magi’s initials and the year are written in chalk above the doorway of the home. The Epiphany inscription is always the current year separated by “CMB,” the initials of Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, the three wise men who traveled from the East to see the baby Jesus.
Bake cupcakes or cookies and decorate them with white icing and yellow sprinkles. Serve them or deliver them to friends and neighbors who find it difficult to get out and around during the winter.
Bake a Kings Cake. A traditional celebration of Epiphany in some cultures is to make a King’s Cake. Place three beans in the cake. Whoever gets a bean in their piece of cake is “crowned” Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar.
Children's Epiphany Activities
An Epiphany Quiz for Children includes questions and answers
Wise Men Word Search
The Visit of the Magi Fill in the Blank
Wise Men multiple choice activity sheet
For Younger Children:
Wise Men Coloring Page
Wise Men Match Game
Preschool Wise Men Finger Play
Pretend you are modern Wise Men. Dress up in your crowns, and add capes and other Wise men clothes. What gifts would you bring this baby King? What do you think Jesus needs? What do you think he would like you to give Him?
Epiphany for Adults