Friday, January 06, 2006

Twelfth Night

"Joy, health, love and peace
Be all here in this place
By your leave we will sing
Concerning our King.

"Our King is well dressed
In silks of the best
In ribbons so rare
No King can compare.

"We have traveled many miles
Over hedges and stiles
In search of our King
Unto you we bring.

"We have powder and shot
To conquer the lot
We have cannon and ball
To conquer them all.

"Old Christmas is past
Twelfth Night is the last
And we bid you adieu
Praise joy to the new."

When I was a child growing up in Milford, Ohio, there was an annual public bonfire of used Christmas trees, that took place every Epiphany. Closer to the present, tonight is when I'll step out on to the porch and face the entrance. With a piece of chalk, I will inscribe the following over the door...

20 + C + M + B + 06

...while saying these words out loud: "Christus Mansionem Benedicat... May Christ this dwelling bless." The initials also stand for the names which tradition ascribes to the three wise men -- Caspar, Melchoir, and Balthasar.

For those with more time on their hands this day, other customs associated with this feast can be found here.

No comments: