|Adoration of the Magi|
by Vincente Gil
HistoryEpiphany or “Twelfth Night” is the day we celebrate the Magi (Wise Men) coming to see Jesus, as told in the Bible. Christians have actually been celebrating this day longer than we’ve been celebrating Christmas! In fact, the tradition of giving gifts used to happen on Epiphany instead of Christmas (and still does, in some places). We heard the Epiphany readings at Mass last Sunday, but today is that actual feast day.
There are many traditions regarding Epiphany, including caroling, gift giving, putting on plays and more. In some churches, the priest will bless chalk, and each family will get a piece to take home. The head of your family can use the chalk to write, “20 C+M+B 16” over the front door (also over your barn door if you live on a farm with a livestock barn) and say this blessing. The "20" and "16" are the year we are living in. People sometimes say the C+M+B stands for Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, the traditional names of three wise men, but it really stands for "Christus Mansionem Benedictat" (Christ bless this home).