Feast fit for a King

Today in celebration of the Epiphany, we had a Twelfth Night banquet.

We served pork roast (evoking the roast boar of Ye Olde Merry England).

We served foods that were vessels of abundance, evoking the gifts of the Magi:

Acorn Squash filled with a stuffing made with pecans and raisins, then glazed;

Deviled Eggs, because eggs are poetically said to contain gold;

Spinach Pies, because we needed a vegetable.

I figured those accounted for the gold and myrrh.

Then we served wassail, a mulled cider with optional ginger vodka for added spiciness. This fragrant beverage evoked the frankincense. It also made for a wonderful toast.

Finally, we had our Christmas pudding; like the eponymous figgy pudding or all the King's Cakes, it was studded with nutmeats and dried fruits, but I used an organic gingerbread mix as the base. Figgy puddings take a long while to bake and steam, and king's cakes are often yeasty- so I made a quicker version of the Christmas pudding my Aunt Twins make every New Year, mixing the goodies into the gingerbread and baking it with a water bath underneath. I eschewed the bean, but I did add Lemon Brandy sauce to make it a festive treat worthy of royalty.

Then we began our prayer for the Blessing of the House.

The centerpiece at dinner was our nativity scene. We blessed the chalk and read Matthew 2:1-12. Then we blessed the door and all the rooms of the house, sprinkling Holy Water while we sang "We Three Kings" led by a candle from our family altar. Finally we inscribed over the door "20+C+M+B+12" which stands for Christus Mansionem Benedicat, "Christ Bless this house (mansion)" and signifies that we will spend one more new year journeying closer to Christ, as did Casper, Melchior, and Balthasar.

I love this tradition and the marvelous way it enshrines our home as a Domestic Church. Adding the Twelfth Night elements made for a festive evening with our friends, who took chalk home that they might bless their houses too.

Our friends did crack up when we blessed the toilet, joking that it was only fitting to bless a throne on the feast of the Three Kings. I like the prayer that accompanies the blessing of the bathroom, that the waters may cleanse and refresh us, as a reminder of our baptism. All in all, it was a lovely evening, a proper Twelfth Night with all the revelry and merriment, and a blessed evening honoring the Holy Family and the King who revealed Himself in our midst as God-Hero, Almighty Savior, and Prince of Peace.

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