On Friday, we were blessed to have a priest from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter come to our home to give the Epiphany blessing. While a father or head of household can do this in the absence of a priest--which is the current state of affairs due to the overburdened time of diocesan priests--it has always been traditional that priests spent the month of January traveling to all their parishioners' homes to impart the blessing.
I learned that a priest would be coming to our home about 48 hours in advance--and this is a big deal to a Catholic. We want our homes sparkling for such a visit! Yet we'd been sick for two weeks, the house was an explosion of Christmas decorations taken down but not yet put away, and basically a lot of disorder and dust. I may or may not have thrown an adult-sized tantrum.
On Thursday, I managed to rally enough post-influenza energy to vacuum and scrub and Chris got all my decorations snugged into the attic. On Friday morning, the children themselves surprised me in such a sweet way: after breakfast, they instructed me conspiratorially to stay downstairs. After a mere twenty minutes of racing around, they led me upstairs amidst giggles and beaming faces to show me an absolutely pristine second floor. All six beds were made, not a toy was strewn on the floor or a book off the shelves. Pajamas were tucked in drawers and the bathroom was in order, not a toothbrush out of place. The children had dressed themselves and even dressed the toddler. In a word, it was perfect.
This is good and bad for the children, of course. Now I know exactly what the kids are capable of doing (and cheerfully!), which does not much resemble our typical mornings around here.
Anyway, what a gift to this still very tired mama who is on antibiotics, along with the toddler, for our double ear-infections.
Father arrived and the children inspected with interest his Epiphany blessing supplies.
|The Latin prayers translated in English|
The children ran after Father on his first round through the house, sprinkling holy water in every single room and closet.
|Heading upstairs with holy water|
|Mary delighted by incense|
Then Father took the same route through the house with his lovely incense.
|Blessing the doors|
|Blessing the doors|
After dinner, we gave the children a basket of Epiphany gifts. I had managed earlier to order a book of Gospel stories and a Rosary flip-book from Sacred Art Series, about which I am very excited to use. I supplemented with a quick trip to the drug store where I bought silly little paper, glitter, toothbrushes, straws, and some candy.