This year Lent begins late giving Epiphany NINE Sundays during this church season. Take this time and make it special. This year, in worship and in your classrooms, have Epiphany be festive and filled with special activities, rather than have it feel like the end of Christmas.
Epiphany means to make manifest or appearance, and we celebrate during this season, the coming of the Light of God into the world. The liturgical color for this season is white although some churches use white on Epiphany, January 6th, and then use green throughout the rest of the season until the arrival of Lent. In the ancient church Epiphany used to be more celebrated than Christmas. It honors when the magi arrived bearing gifts to the Christ child.
Perhaps during Epiphany you will have a intergenerational workshop after church for everyone. Another idea might be to help avoid the midwinter blues, hold an all church family night. Have a good old fashioned potluck or serve a simple soup and sandwich supper. You might offer this on a Friday evening or midweek. Here are nine activities you can incorporate into your classrooms or into other programs during this special church season.
- Create a new Christ candle for your classroom and/or Sanctuary. Take a pillar candle and with sheets of wax, decorate the candle with symbols about Jesus as the Light of the world.
- Make mobiles of stars with foil, glitter, paper and hangers or dowels.
- Read the story “ The Ballad of Befna” by Phyllis McGinley.
- Share a DVD of “Amal and the Night Visitors.”
- Create a banner for the lintel of the Sanctuary door, a classroom door or for families to take home. Have them inscribe 20+C+M+B+02. The letters CMB come from the 9th century tradition of the name for the “three kings”, Caspar, Melchoir and Balthazar. It could also represent “Christus Mansionem Benedicat” which is Latin for “May Chirst Bless This Dwelling.”
- Bake cupcakes or cookies and decorate them with white icing and yellow sprinkles. Serve them or deliver them to members of the church who find it difficult to get out and around during the winter.
- Celebrate each Sunday during Epiphany by asking each person to offer one “gift” of love into the week to come. Have the write down what they will be offering on a piece of paper and place it in a shoebox wrapped like a gift with a slot for their offering to be placed through. Thank each person for sharing their gifts and offer a prayer.
- Each week have someone be “king” for the day. They will take attendance, offering, share snack, etc. during church school. Make sure they have a crown to wear.
- Sing special songs during Epiphany ie What Star is This, with Beams so Bright, Go Tell It on the Mountain, Brightest and Best etc.
Elsa is a Commissioned Minister of Faith Formation. Prior to her retirement, she served as Resource Director and Associate for Christian Faith Formation and Youth Ministry for the Massachusetts Conference.