Epiphany Traditions

Light of the World

    In Italy, oranges are served at epiphany.

     Oranges represent light in the Italian feast of the Epiphany and are served either as a salad or as dessert.

     The symbolism is for the Wise Men who followed a special light, the Star of Bethlehem. Some people serve the oranges as a symbol of the gold the Wise Men brought to Jesus.

     We invite you to share oranges this Epiphany season as you think about light in our world.  Enjoy!

Three Kings Cake or Epiphany King Cake

King Cake

   A king cake, also known as a three kings cake, is a cake associated in many countries with Epiphany. Its form and ingredients are variable, but in most cases a plastic toy baby or sometimes a bean is hidden inside the cake to represent the Christ Child. After the cake is cut, whoever gets the figurine/bean is said to have good luck, may win a prize and is usually asked to bring the King Cake for the following year.

   The name is derived from the Three Wise Men who came bearing gifts for Baby Jesus on the Twelfth Night. King cake is first served on King’s Day (January 6) and lasts through the eve of Mardi Gras to celebrate the coming of the three kings, as well as to honor them with a sweet homage to their jeweled crowns.

Chalking the Door

Epiphany Tradition - chalking the Door

   Over 2000 years ago the Magi—Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar—travelled over a great distance. They followed a star the whole way and found baby Jesus. Chalking the door is an Epiphany house blessing ritual, a visible sign of our faith and a welcome to all who come through the door. It helps us to remember God is with us, always.

   Mark your door with the initials of the three Magi, and the numerals of the new Year connected by a series of crosses: 20 + C + M + B + 24

The C M B also stands for the Latin prayer request, Christus Mansionem Benedicat, May Christ bless this house.

Loving God, Bless all who come into our home

May all who enter in come in peace

May all who come in this door find welcome and love

May peace and love fill our home and spread out into the community and the world.