We are celebrating the Epiphany of the Lord: the visit of the wise men, the first gentiles to meet Our Lord.
The parish is celebrating in several ways: as well as the Mass, which is always the heart of our celebration of faith, there was an event for children on Saturday morning, in which they learnt about the visit of the Magi and even had a chance to meet the 'wise men' themselves. They talked about their journey, their gifts for Jesus and what they signify, and why it was important for them to follow the star. Although they were wealthy and comfortable, they still had something missing in their lives - a gap that was filled when they met Jesus.
Meanwhile, parishioners have had the opportunity to discover the ancient tradition (well-known on the continent, but less so in the UK) of blessing our homes for the coming year. It's an Epiphany tradition to pray outside the door and to mark the doorway with chalk, writing the year and the letters 'C', 'M' and 'B' - the initials of the names traditionally given to the wise men (Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar); the letters CMB also refer to a Latin phrase 'Christus Mansionem Benedicat' - 'Christ, bless this house'. Chalk was blessed at the 6pm Mass on Saturday night and distributed at all Masses this weekend.
After the 7pm Mass, we also used the same blessing on the church doorway, since it is the entrance to our spiritual home. We ask God to bless all those who pray here and visit here in the coming twelve months.
And, of course, the wise men have arrived in the church's crib. The crib remains up until the end of the Christmas season, the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which takes place this year on Monday 8th January. Click on the gallery below for more images of our Epiphany celebrations.