STAR OF WONDER: AN EPIPHANY STORY - Extending the Christmas Season


Preparing the table
  • Use the tablecloth the children have decorated, or set their star name cards at their places.
  • If you made a mobile with the new Christmas decorations, hang it in the room where the meal will be held.
  • For the centerpiece, you can use lots of baby's breath (which looks like snow) and yellow flowers to be stars.
  • Have one tall candle (perhaps the one from the créche) in front of an adult's place, and lots of smaller ones to be lit during the brief prayers. You could, for example, put votive candles set in clean baby food jars at each person's place, or use tea lights. If you hold the meal in the evening, consider turning off the lights and eating by candlelight.
  • One of the adults should also have a bell to ring partway through the liturgy.

  • Preparing the children
    Either earlier in the day or at the start of the meal, teach your children the appropriate responses and gestures to go with the brief prayers (see the Festal Meal Liturgy):
  • "God was with them:" the children respond while stretching out their arms, palms up.
  • "God is with us:" the children respond while hugging themselves, arms crossed and hand on opposite shoulders.
  • After each blessing, teach them to respond "Amen."

  • For food serving and preparation suggestions, see Foods of the Season & Recipes for a Festal Meal

    Festal Meal Liturgy for Epiphany

    star of wonder

    An adult should light the big candle and say: Jesus is the True Light.

    Everyone: Thanks be to God.

    Adult: When the Three Kings left their homes and traveled far away, following the star to Bethlehem,

    Children (with arms outstretched, palms up): God was with them.

    Adult: As we break this bread together,

    Children (with arms crossed, hands on opposite shoulders as though hugging themselves): God is with us.

    At this time, pass the crescent rolls around and have everyone literally break them open to find the "fortunes" rolled up inside. After a suitable amount of time for people to eat their rolls and share their fortunes, everyone should join in singing "Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow" or "We Three Kings." Afterwards, an adult should ring the bell to recall everyone to the liturgy.

    Adult: When shepherds and kings and angels all gathered at the manger,

    Children (arms outstretched): God was with them.

    Adult: As we gather to rejoice in God's gift of Jesus to the world,

    Children (arms crossed): God is with us.

    Adult: And now may God bless us and keep us.

    Children: Amen.

    Adult: May we, like the shepherds and the kings, follow where God leads us.

    Children: Amen.

    Adult: May we, too, be messengers of God's love to the whole world.

    Children: Amen.

    star of wonder Everyone: Thanks be to God.

    Using a taper or a long kitchen match, take fire from the big candle and light the little candles in front of each child. As each small candle is lit the adult should make eye contact and say, calling the child by name, "_________, you are the light of the world."

    After all the candles are lit the Festal Meal commences.

    Final note: May you, too, enter into the mystery and excitement of Epiphany, joining with Jesse and the three strangers he befriended. With shepherds and kings and ordinary people throughout the centuries, may you, too, be surprised and awed by your encounter with the Holy.

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