Title: Epiphany, Theophany
Age: 5+ years
Liturgical Time: Epiphany, Theophany (January 6)
Doctrinal Content: When Jesus had been baptized in the River Jordan, the Holy Trinity appeared, the Holy Spirit descended from the heavens as a dove, and a voice came from Heaven and said "You are my beloved Son, with You I am well pleased."
Direct Aims: To celebrate the feast of Theophany so that the child can know God through the Trinity and faller deeper in love with Him.
Indirect Aims: To enable the child to participate more fully in the liturgical life of the Church; to help the child understand that this yearly celebration is also a renewal of our own baptisms; to foster a realization of the source of all things needed.
Materials for the Lesson Plan:
Holy Water and Holy Water Font
Basil (if available)
The icon of Epiphany
Begin by having the children rise and sing the hymn of Epiphany:
"When you were baptized in the river Jordan, O Lord, the worship of the Trinity was revealed. For the voice of the Father bore witness to You by calling you Beloved Son; and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truth of these words. O Christ God, who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You!"
Note holy water and font, the cross, basil and the icon of the Epiphany on the table.
Ask: "What is Epiphany?"
Answers include: The celebration of our Lord's baptism, the commemoration of His Theophany, the revelation of Who God is, the Trinity.
Explain that the priest blesses water by asking for the Holy Spirit to descend upon it and sanctify it.
Then we sprinkle this water on ourselves and in our homes.
We also can drink some of this water. Why?
Answers include: It is a like a yearly baptism; water is a symbol of life and a requirement for cleansing; and by sprinkling ourselves and by drinking the water we participate in the renewal of our nature that comes through Christ's baptism and subsequently our own baptism.
Describe what we do with holy water: Take it home and drink it throughout the year and even bless our homes by sprinkling holy water around the house.
Do we invite a priest to our home? Yes, each year. Ask your mom and dad to invite the parish priest to bless your home once each year.
Explain the icon of the Epiphany and the meaning contained within it.
Explain the cross and basil: The cross is lifted up just as the serpent was lifted up of old in the wilderness by Moses, and just as Christ was lifted up upon the cross. Basil means "King," and this herb was found on the hillside where St. Helen found the Cross; it was named for Christ, the herb of the King.
Explain the holy water font, it looks like a baptismal font: Today is like a renewal of our baptism and a re-participation in this event
Again sing the hymn of Epiphany with the children