epiphany of our lord

The 12 Days of Christmas / Epiphany of Our Lord

Happy New Year and I hope all of you, wherever you are in the world, have had a wonderful Christmas!  I have been having computer problems, so I am behind on my posts.  I was going to write about the 12 Days of Christmas in a more timely manner, but now they are over, and we have arrived today at the Epiphany of Our Lord in the traditional calendar.  The Epiphany is celebrated this Sunday in the new calendar.  I have several other posts in the works, including the Month of January-will get that up as soon as possible!

About the 12 Days of Christmas, I wanted to share an idea I have been doing with my family for a number of years now.  I think I came up with this idea on my own and have written about it previously.  You may be aware of the theory that the song "The 12 Days of Christmas" originated as a covert teaching tool in England, during the persecution of Catholics.  I am not concerned about the theory itself, nor even the song.  What does concern me is the re-creation of authentic Catholic culture for our times.  What is wrong with creating new traditions?  I think we are at such an hour in history, when we must take the bull by the horns and move things forward aggressively (moving forward may at times require that we look back-if you have taken the wrong fork, you must go back before you can truly go forward). 

It is sad that the 12 Days of Christmas have largely been forgotten and no one seems to know how to celebrate them anyway.  One idea is to discuss points of the Faith on each of the 12 Days, that correspond to the particular number of the day.  You can be creative with it.  For instance, Day 3 could be about the Holy Trinity or the Three Theological Virtues.  Day 7, you could discuss the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost or the Seven Deadly Sins.  In addition, you can say prayers and sing songs that also correspond to the topic of the day....the song "Holy Holy Holy" for the Holy Trinity....or a Litany to the Holy Ghost for the Seven Gifts.  The possibilities are endless and you can have a lot of fun with it!  So, now that the 12 Days of Christmas are over, just thought I'd share that idea:)

As for the Epiphany, there is a beautiful traditional Blessing of the Home that you can find online, which includes writing above your doorway with blessed chalk.  We must give our children something to love about the Faith....real, concrete ways to BE Catholic that they in turn will continue with their own children.  And these practices enrich life so much and add a dimension to life that simply cannot be fulfilled through any secular pursuit.  This is what the world does not understand:  that all things pale in comparison to the Holy Faith, the Body of Christ, the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.  This is what we must show them.  Love demands it!