Continuing Home

The ongoing saga of a Continuing Anglican church home, as seen by a member of the laity.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Epiphany and customs

Today, per custom, the three Wise Men finished their long journey across the various window sills of the Nave and arrived at the creche -- "guided" this year by Kavya, also today's Sunday School Banner Bearer.

The Banner Bearer is a relatively new custom; one of the younger children carries the Sunday School banner in the procession and leaves it in the Sanctuary, returning to retrieve it and lead the Sunday School out after the announcements and before the sermon, while we sing one of several single-verse hymns in the Hymnal. It is always amazing to me how suddenly the pews look empty when the children depart.

But along the line of customs: after the service DeeDee commented on yesterday's blog entry, surprised that somebody got the 12 Days of Christmas right, and in a TV ad to boot! She noted one priest who had placed Twelfthnight on Epiphany, not the night before. Well, some other remarks caused me to look up customs for both Twelfthnight and Epiphany. Very interesting -- I had not thought our tradition of taking down the tree and decorations on Epiphany the avoidance of bad luck, for example. And the "journey" of the three wise men at St. Bartholomew's seems to echo in a way the Mexican festival Las Posadas, which re-enacts Joseph's search for room at the inn.

But in any event, the priest is exonerated! It turns out that, depending on which custom of counting the "days" of Christmas is emplyed, the 12th night could fall on Epiphany.


  • At 8:00 PM, Blogger The Miller Menagerie said…

    Thanks for the research, Bill!

    Drew and I were talking about Christmastide and Epiphany when we were driving home and Drew mentioned how variable most of the Christmastide/Epiphany observations are. One thing he noted was the William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night was first performed on Candlemas, which is when other folks consider Christmas-like celebrations to end.

    Unlike in the Candlemas Wikipedia entry, where they state that Candlemas was when Christmas greenery would be taken down, our greenery wouldn't make it that long! I think it would be a fire hazard long before then!


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