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Celebrating Epiphany: Procession of the Magi

079On the feast of the Epiphany we celebrate the appearance or revelation of God in human form to the whole world. The feast is normally celebrated on the second Sunday after Christmas. In the Roman Catholic Church, we associate this feast with the visit of the three wise men to the baby Jesus in Bethlehem.

Here’s a quick and easy Epiphany ritual that our family did on the Feast of the Epiphany (yesterday). For really small children, skip all but the last step.

Materials: Nativity set, including three wise men. Bible, or a copy of the Scripture passage listed below.

  1. Explain to the children that the word “Epiphany” means “appearance.” Ask them to try pronouncing the word, then explain that on the Feast of Epiphany we celebrate the appearance of God in human form (Jesus) to the whole world.
  2. Explain that many people came to see Jesus when he was born, including three travelers from faraway lands. Then read, or act out, or paraphrase the story of the Magi in Matthew 2:1-12 (or shorten the reading to verses 9-12).
  3. Ask the children some questions about the story.
  4. Give each of the children one of the magi figurines from your Nativity set. Lead them on a parade around the room or the house to represent the long journey. If you know the melody by heart, sing “We Three Kings” during your “journey.” When you arrive at the manger, place the kings around Jesus and ask the kids to say what gifts each king brought.

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