Epiphany began at sundown on Twelfth Night and continues throughout the next day. On this day, we celebrate the long journey that the wise men made and their final arrival to the child Jesus. In the gospel of Luke, we are told that wise men came from the east to Jerusalem, looking for the one born to be the King of the Jews. They announced that they had seen His star and had come to worship Him. When King Herod heard this, he was troubled and felt threatened as the king. He asked the wise men to go and find the child and bring it back to him. The wise men followed the star as it went before them until the star stopped where the young child was. When they arrived at the home they rejoiced with “exceedingly great joy. They went into the home, saw the young child, and fell down and worshipped Him. Then they presented the child with their treasures; gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
The church recognizes this beautiful moment as an epiphany. An epiphany is a revelation that happens suddenly and it reveals something’s true nature or meaning. It was in this moment that God’s plan for salvation through Jesus is revealed to the world beyond the Jews. Through the wise men’s visit we see that through Jesus, God’s plan of salvation is meant for everyone.
Ways to Celebrate
Read Matthew 2:1-12.
Sing “We Three Kings of Orient Are”. As you sing, bring your nativity wise men and place them around baby Jesus lying in the manger.
After the adoration of baby Jesus, go to your front door and write the initials C, M, and B in chalk along the top of your door. The initials are said to stand for the names of the wise men: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, or “Christ, bless this house” in Latin (Christus mansionem benedicat). The initials are then surrounded by the current year and separated by crosses (20+C+M+B+23).
Make a Twelfth Night Cake (also known as King Cake, Galette de Rois, or Rosca de Reyes). Depending on the country, it is a simple cake with a dried bean inside. Whoever finds the bean in their piece of cake is crowned king or queen for the night and might also have duties assigned to them at a later celebration.
We tried a different recipe for our King Cake this year and it was so good! We used this recipe from www.mexicoinmykitchen.com and loved it. The bread was moist and light with such a good orange flavor. I made some tweaks to the recipe and it was a hit!