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Catholic Activity: Tradition of the Epiphany Mystery Play

The name "Epiphany" means "manifestation". The underlying meaning of the feast may be found in the Introit of the Mass: "The Lord and ruler is coming; kingship is his, and government and power." On this day the Church commemorates the coming of the Wise Men or Magi. Acting out this wonderful mystery of our faith is a great method of teaching the children.

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During the Middle Ages this day was celebrated with much pomp and ceremony. The lives of the three Wise Men were dramatized. They were first pictured as Magi or Wise Men, members of a respected priesthood, then as counselors of a king, skillful astrologers, and finally as kings with their offerings of gold, frankincense and myrrh. In reality, not much is known about them, but what is known was dramatized. Although in our country there are few parish mystery plays, there is no reason why the children could not be able to give a simple representation of this beautiful story. Katherine Byles says that "if the children are old enough they will take great pride in writing out the parts for the different characters. If the family is too small, join with one of two other families (Religion in the Home for Elementary School Children, Paulist Press, NY, p. 9)."

Activity Source: How to Make Your House a Home by Rev. Bernard Stokes, O.F.M., Family Life Bureau, Washington D.C., 1955

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