The Feast of the Epiphany is on 6th January. It marks the end of the 12 days of Christmas and celebrates the visit of the Wise Men to the baby Jesus. These men are often called Kings or Magi. They brought valuable gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to honour the baby.
The gifts The gift of gold was the gift people usually gave to their King. By giving gold they were recognising Jesus as their King. The second gift was frankincense. When burnt it gives off a fragrant smell. It was burnt as an offering to God during worship, used a medicine and also a perfume. The third gift was myrrh. It is a wound healer.
The Epiphany in Spain http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningzone/clips/spain-celebrates-epiphany/6247.html
In Spain the Epiphany is called El Día de los Reyes – The Day of the Kings. Processions in the streets and sweets are thrown. Eat “Rosca del Reyes” (cake with plastic toys or charms inside)
La cabalgata de Reyes In Spanish towns there are processions on the 5th January. The special procession is called la cabalgata de Reyes. It celebrates the journey of the Three Kings as they followed the star to find the Baby Jesus, carrying their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
“Los Reyes” (Three Kings Day) 6 th January Children leave straw & barley in their shoes the night before to feed the camels which the Three Kings ride. The Three Kings empty the shoes and leave presents.
Gather Let us make the sign of the cross – In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. This is the Jesus the Light of the World. Let us watch the flame and feel the presence of Jesus as we listen to Matthew's scripture from the Bible.
Listen Matthew’s story of the wise men 2: 1-12 Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a town in Judea, in the time of King Herod. Some wise men came from the East to Jerusalem asking, “Where is the baby who will be King of the Jews? We have seen his star in the sky and have come to worship him.” King Herod was very confused when he heard this question, and so was everyone else in Jerusalem. He called the priests and teachers to him and asked them what they knew about it. They said: “A long time ago a prophet said: “ A baby will be born in Bethlehem. He will be great leader. He will look after God’s people.” King Herod said to the wise men, “Go to Bethlehem and find the baby. Then come back and tell me where he is. I will also go and worship him.” So they went on their way. The star which they had seen led them until it stopped over the place where the baby was. They were filled with joy. They went into the house and found the baby with his mother Mary. They knelt down and worshipped him. They opened their treasures and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. God told them in a dream not to go back to King Herod, so they went back to their own country by a different way.
Respond - Respond - Let us pray Loving Father, help us to remember the birth of Jesus. That we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds and the worship of the wise men. Amen
Our Father, Who art in heaven Hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Father, you revealed your Son to the nations by the guidance of a star. Lead us to your glory in heaven by the light of faith. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen
During the Epiphany, we remember the joy that greeted Jesus' birth. The Wise Men brought gifts to honour Jesus. We can honour Jesus with a gift as well… Living, loving and learning as followers of Jesus Christ Go Forth