Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Quick Theophany/ Epiphany ideas

After two weeks of travel, it dawned on me this morning that Theophany was tomorrow and that our liturgy for it was tonight, so I quickly pulled myself together and this is what I came up with.

1. First, my pre-schooler and I read through the Old Testament stories of Creation, the Flood, the crossing of the Red Sea, the Children of Israel crossing the Jordan and Jonah and the Whale. We also read the NT stories about Jesus' baptism, calling the fishermen, and walking on the water. We read from a toddler Bible (stories are short) and I edited the stories as we went. We talked about how God blessed the water, motifs of cleansing, tried to make connections with the stories and focused specifically on how Jesus blessed the water by being baptized in it (as much as one can do with a three-year-old). As my boys get older and I don't have to rely on Children's Bibles (and/or I have more time) we'll read all of the stories which we will be hearing in the service tonight which include the washing of Naaman, Elijiah being taken up and Elisha crossing the Jordan just to name a few!

2. We also looked at the icon for Theophany and photos of my sons' baptisms and discussed them as well. My first son was actually baptized on Theophany 3 years ago, so it is also a special anniversary for us to remember.

3. We sang the troparion for Theophany over and over again (Byzantine-tone 1: When thou oh lord was baptized in the Jordan worship of the Trinity was made manifest/ for the voice of the Father bore witness to thee calling thee his beloved son/ and the Spirit in the likeness of a dove confirmed the truth of his word/ oh Christ our God who hath appeared and enlightened the world glory to thee) and also the baptismal hymn "As Many as have been baptized into Christ"

4. Finally we made a very quick version of a Kings Cake. I used a Trader Joe's Apple Bread mix I had lying around, letting my son help me by hiding a nut in it. I cooked it in a bunt cake pan to keep the appearance of a crown and decorated the top of the cake with blue icing (made from powdered sugar, butter, milk and food coloring) and Swedish Fish candy (we had it left over from Halloween). I want to learn more about the cake traditions for next year, but I wanted to start it now. I added the blue icing to look like water and the fish are pretty obvious. We're going to take the cake to church to enjoy with others after the service tonight. My son is so excited about finding the nut--what a fantastic idea!

Thankfully our church will also be blessing the Ocean water this coming Sunday so it will allow for more learning and fun to continue despite my lack of planning!

I wish all of you a Blessed Feast!


Jen said...

Thanks for these ideas. I was hoping to take my daughter to church tonight but hubby was unable to make it home in time to babysit our sleeping baby so we read some of the Bible stories you mentioned and made kings cake.

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