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    Dec 17

    Written by: adawson 12/17/2013 2:56 PM 

     

    WE THREE KINGS

     We three kings of orient are,
    Bearing gifts we traverse afar
    Field and fountain,
    Moor and mountain,
    Following yonder star.

    O star of wonder, star of night,
    Star with royal beauty bright.
    Westward leading, still proceeding,
    Guide us to thy perfect light.

    [Melchior:]
    Born a King on Bethlehem's plain,
    Gold I bring to crown Him again
    King for ever, ceasing never
    Over us all to reign.

    [All:]
    O star of wonder, star of night,
    Star with royal beauty bright.
    Westward leading, still proceeding,
    Guide us to thy perfect light.

    [Casper:]
    Frankincense to offer have I,
    Incense owns a Deity nigh
    Prayer and praising, all men raising,
    Worship Him, God most high.

    [All:]
    O star of wonder, star of night,
    Star with royal beauty bright.
    Westward leading, still proceeding,
    Guide us to thy perfect light.

    [Balthazar:]
    Myrrh is mine,
    Its bitter perfume breathes
    A life of gathering gloom.
    Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
    Sealed in the stone cold tomb.

    [All:]
    O star of wonder, star of night,
    Star with royal beauty bright.
    Westward leading, still proceeding,
    Guide us to thy perfect light.

    Glorious now behold Him arise,
    King and God and Sacrifice!
    Al-le-lu-ia, al-le-lu-ia,
    Heaven to earth replies.

    O star of wonder, star of night,
    Star with royal beauty bright.
    Westward leading, still proceeding,
    Guide us to thy perfect light.

     

    http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/c/christmas_songs/we_three_kings_of_orient_are.html

    Many legends and folk beliefs have developed surrounding who and what the Magi were and the gifts that they brought to Jesus.

     

     

    Epiphany

     Epiphany is a Christian holiday celebrated on January 6th. According to tradional beliefs, the Magi saw the star on the 25th of December and arrived in Bethlehem 13 days later, the 6th of January.  At this time the revelation of Jesus’ divinity is commemorated.  The word epiphany comes from the Greek term epiphaneia, means “manifestation”.  This word was used in conjunction with royalty. It signified that a visiting monarch would come before the people. Another Greek term, theophany, the appearance of god to humans, was also associated with the holiday.  During the middle Ages, January 5th and 6th were called the Feast of Kings.

     

    The Magi

    The Magi are originally one of the six tribes of an Indo-Iranian group knows as the Medes (now known as the Kurds). This tribe was a priestly caste similar to the Brahmin caste of India. The priestly duties were passed down through the male lineage. During the 6th Century BC, the Medes became very powerful. Their empire spread from what we refer to as Azerbaijan and Afghanistan.  A non violent group, they were ministers to the people. In order for a sacrifice to be acceptable, it had to consecrated by and given to the Magi.

     

    Their religion appeared to be a blending of early Iranian folk religion and a form of Mithraism. The Magi continued these practices until sometime in the 6th Century when a conservative form of Zarathustra became the major religion in Iran.

     

    The Magi were said to have worn woolen turbans that had long flaps on the side and white robes.  Dressed in white robes and woolen turbans with long flaps on the side, the Magi would accompany the armies of Xerxes, the Persian King (58 BC-465 BC).

    They would carry the sacred fire, keep it burring and offer up prayers to their deities during battles. While Darius the Great (550-486BCE) reigned as king, the Magi were used as court astrologers. Known or their skills in astrology, the Magi would have seen a star in the sky and followed it. “The star which they had seen in the east went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was” (Matthew 2:9)

    They were employed to interpret the dreams of the royals and to read good omens before the armies went off to battle. Other royal duties of the Magi included teaching the princes, guarding the royal tombs and investing the king with his robes. It was not an uncommon practice in the Persian Empire for the priest to have duel civic and religious roles.  When the Muslims invaded Persia in 637, which brought about a decline in the influence of the Magi. Islam replace Zoroastrianism as the dominate religion.

    The term Magi come from the word a Latin version of the Greek word  Magoi. Magoi is from the Persian term for the priest sect. The word magic comes from the word magi. The Magi were also practices of divination. Many ancients used the term magi to ascribe to any foreigner who practiced the occult from the East.

     Both Jews and Zoroastrians held firm in the belief that a savior born of a virgin would come to save the world from evil.  The Bible states that the Magi came to Jerusalem to find the Messiah. They arrived at the court of King Herod to ask where the King of the Jews could be found. Herod is not pleased with the news of a potential rival, so he consults with the Jewish scribes and priests. He finds that this prophecy is true and tells the Magi to return with the whereabouts of this child. The Magi continue to follow the star to find Jesus. They honor him by the giving of precious gifts. In a troubling dream, the Magi are told not to go back to Herod, who will murder the child. They return home another way. It is believed that once the Magi returned to their home, they told the news of the birth of Jesus. Others believe that they were baptized by the Apostle Thomas and became priests. Empress Helena (St. Helena 248-328) is said to have taken the bodies from the East and brought them back to Constantinople. Some time later the bodies were taken to Milan. In the 10th Century, the Milanese found three bodies in the church of St. Eustorgius. The relics were sent by the emperor Frederick Barbarossa to Cologne, Germany. There they became know as the Three Kings of Cologne. Housed in Germany, the Magi were placed in a shrine in the Cathedral of Cologne. In 1903 the Cardinal of Cologne sent some of the relics back to the city of Milan.

     

     

    Gifts of the Magi

    The Magi brought gifts of frankincense, myrrh and gold.  All of these gifts were highly valued items of trade in the known world. The use of frankincense and myrrh have historical uses that go back to the ancient world.  The historian Herodotus wrote of trees in Arabia where frankincense grew. These trees were protected by small winged snakes. In Africa and the Middle East the medicinal qualities of frankincense were known to treat arthritis. Frankincense is also symbolic for purity and divinity.  In the Old Testament, frankincense was used as incense in the temple. This incense gives off intense fumes and heavy smoke when burned; thus created a strong visual for prayer. Many scholars believe that is why it was so popular in places of worship. Frankincense was used in the Holy of Holies to stop the priests from glancing upon the ark and the mercy seat. It was also an intercessor between God and man. “May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.” (Psalm 141:2).  

     The second herb given to Jesus was myrrh. Myrrh also grew in Arabia on small shrubs.

     Customarily associated with death, myrrh was used by the Egyptians to embalm the pharaohs.  In the Christian tradition the gift of myrrh is prophetic, representing the death of Jesus. The last gift of the Magi was gold.  Herodotus noted that Arabian gold was of such a high quality that it did not need smelting. Symbolic of royalty the gold represented Jesus as king.

    Over the course of time, legends about the Magi grew. In the 3rd century they went from holy men to kings. Once the 6th century arrived they had names. A tradition attributed to Armenia gave them geographical locations.

          

     

                                                                   

    Works Cited

    Dhalla, Maneckji Nusservanji. Zoroastrian Civilization from the Earliest times to the Downfall of the Last Zorastrian Empire. New York: Oxford UP, 1922. Print.

     

    Dharmananda, Subhuti,  Ph.D. "BOTANICAL ORIGIN AND COLLECTION." Myrrh and Frankincense. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013.

     

    Gulevich, Tanya, and Mary Ann Stavros-Lanning. Encyclopedia of Christmas. Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics, 2000. Print.

     

    "History of the Medes." Web log post. N.p., n.d. Web.

     

    Ickis, Marguerite,  and Richard E. Howard. The Book of Festivals and Holidays  the World Over. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1970. Print.

     

    Jobes, Gertrude. Dictionary of Mythology,  Folklore and Symbols. New York: Scarecrow, 1961. Print.

    "Matthew 2:9 After They Had Heard the King, They Went on Their Way, and the Star They Had Seen When It Rose Went Ahead of Them until It Stopped over the Place Where the Child Was." Matthew 2:9 After They Had Heard the King, They Went on Their Way, and the Star They Had Seen When It Rose Went Ahead of Them until It Stopped over the Place Where the Child Was. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013

     

    Missler, Chuck. "Who Were the Magi?" Web  log post. Who Were the Magi? N.p., Nov.-Dec. 1999. Web. 12 Dec. 2013.

     

    Moulton, James Hope. The Treasure of the Magi; a Study of Modern Zoroastrianism,. London: H. Milford, Oxford UP, 1917. Print.

     

    Zaehner, R. C. The Teachings of the Magi: A Compendium of Zoroastrian Beliefs. London: Allen & Unwin, 1956. Print.

     

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    Dec 17

    Written by: adawson 12/17/2013 2:56 PM 

     

    WE THREE KINGS

     We three kings of orient are,
    Bearing gifts we traverse afar
    Field and fountain,
    Moor and mountain,
    Following yonder star.

    O star of wonder, star of night,
    Star with royal beauty bright.
    Westward leading, still proceeding,
    Guide us to thy perfect light.

    [Melchior:]
    Born a King on Bethlehem's plain,
    Gold I bring to crown Him again
    King for ever, ceasing never
    Over us all to reign.

    [All:]
    O star of wonder, star of night,
    Star with royal beauty bright.
    Westward leading, still proceeding,
    Guide us to thy perfect light.

    [Casper:]
    Frankincense to offer have I,
    Incense owns a Deity nigh
    Prayer and praising, all men raising,
    Worship Him, God most high.

    [All:]
    O star of wonder, star of night,
    Star with royal beauty bright.
    Westward leading, still proceeding,
    Guide us to thy perfect light.

    [Balthazar:]
    Myrrh is mine,
    Its bitter perfume breathes
    A life of gathering gloom.
    Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
    Sealed in the stone cold tomb.

    [All:]
    O star of wonder, star of night,
    Star with royal beauty bright.
    Westward leading, still proceeding,
    Guide us to thy perfect light.

    Glorious now behold Him arise,
    King and God and Sacrifice!
    Al-le-lu-ia, al-le-lu-ia,
    Heaven to earth replies.

    O star of wonder, star of night,
    Star with royal beauty bright.
    Westward leading, still proceeding,
    Guide us to thy perfect light.

     

    http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/c/christmas_songs/we_three_kings_of_orient_are.html

    Many legends and folk beliefs have developed surrounding who and what the Magi were and the gifts that they brought to Jesus.

     

     

    Epiphany

     Epiphany is a Christian holiday celebrated on January 6th. According to tradional beliefs, the Magi saw the star on the 25th of December and arrived in Bethlehem 13 days later, the 6th of January.  At this time the revelation of Jesus’ divinity is commemorated.  The word epiphany comes from the Greek term epiphaneia, means “manifestation”.  This word was used in conjunction with royalty. It signified that a visiting monarch would come before the people. Another Greek term, theophany, the appearance of god to humans, was also associated with the holiday.  During the middle Ages, January 5th and 6th were called the Feast of Kings.

     

    The Magi

    The Magi are originally one of the six tribes of an Indo-Iranian group knows as the Medes (now known as the Kurds). This tribe was a priestly caste similar to the Brahmin caste of India. The priestly duties were passed down through the male lineage. During the 6th Century BC, the Medes became very powerful. Their empire spread from what we refer to as Azerbaijan and Afghanistan.  A non violent group, they were ministers to the people. In order for a sacrifice to be acceptable, it had to consecrated by and given to the Magi.

     

    Their religion appeared to be a blending of early Iranian folk religion and a form of Mithraism. The Magi continued these practices until sometime in the 6th Century when a conservative form of Zarathustra became the major religion in Iran.

     

    The Magi were said to have worn woolen turbans that had long flaps on the side and white robes.  Dressed in white robes and woolen turbans with long flaps on the side, the Magi would accompany the armies of Xerxes, the Persian King (58 BC-465 BC).

    They would carry the sacred fire, keep it burring and offer up prayers to their deities during battles. While Darius the Great (550-486BCE) reigned as king, the Magi were used as court astrologers. Known or their skills in astrology, the Magi would have seen a star in the sky and followed it. “The star which they had seen in the east went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was” (Matthew 2:9)

    They were employed to interpret the dreams of the royals and to read good omens before the armies went off to battle. Other royal duties of the Magi included teaching the princes, guarding the royal tombs and investing the king with his robes. It was not an uncommon practice in the Persian Empire for the priest to have duel civic and religious roles.  When the Muslims invaded Persia in 637, which brought about a decline in the influence of the Magi. Islam replace Zoroastrianism as the dominate religion.

    The term Magi come from the word a Latin version of the Greek word  Magoi. Magoi is from the Persian term for the priest sect. The word magic comes from the word magi. The Magi were also practices of divination. Many ancients used the term magi to ascribe to any foreigner who practiced the occult from the East.

     Both Jews and Zoroastrians held firm in the belief that a savior born of a virgin would come to save the world from evil.  The Bible states that the Magi came to Jerusalem to find the Messiah. They arrived at the court of King Herod to ask where the King of the Jews could be found. Herod is not pleased with the news of a potential rival, so he consults with the Jewish scribes and priests. He finds that this prophecy is true and tells the Magi to return with the whereabouts of this child. The Magi continue to follow the star to find Jesus. They honor him by the giving of precious gifts. In a troubling dream, the Magi are told not to go back to Herod, who will murder the child. They return home another way. It is believed that once the Magi returned to their home, they told the news of the birth of Jesus. Others believe that they were baptized by the Apostle Thomas and became priests. Empress Helena (St. Helena 248-328) is said to have taken the bodies from the East and brought them back to Constantinople. Some time later the bodies were taken to Milan. In the 10th Century, the Milanese found three bodies in the church of St. Eustorgius. The relics were sent by the emperor Frederick Barbarossa to Cologne, Germany. There they became know as the Three Kings of Cologne. Housed in Germany, the Magi were placed in a shrine in the Cathedral of Cologne. In 1903 the Cardinal of Cologne sent some of the relics back to the city of Milan.

     

     

    Gifts of the Magi

    The Magi brought gifts of frankincense, myrrh and gold.  All of these gifts were highly valued items of trade in the known world. The use of frankincense and myrrh have historical uses that go back to the ancient world.  The historian Herodotus wrote of trees in Arabia where frankincense grew. These trees were protected by small winged snakes. In Africa and the Middle East the medicinal qualities of frankincense were known to treat arthritis. Frankincense is also symbolic for purity and divinity.  In the Old Testament, frankincense was used as incense in the temple. This incense gives off intense fumes and heavy smoke when burned; thus created a strong visual for prayer. Many scholars believe that is why it was so popular in places of worship. Frankincense was used in the Holy of Holies to stop the priests from glancing upon the ark and the mercy seat. It was also an intercessor between God and man. “May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.” (Psalm 141:2).  

     The second herb given to Jesus was myrrh. Myrrh also grew in Arabia on small shrubs.

     Customarily associated with death, myrrh was used by the Egyptians to embalm the pharaohs.  In the Christian tradition the gift of myrrh is prophetic, representing the death of Jesus. The last gift of the Magi was gold.  Herodotus noted that Arabian gold was of such a high quality that it did not need smelting. Symbolic of royalty the gold represented Jesus as king.

    Over the course of time, legends about the Magi grew. In the 3rd century they went from holy men to kings. Once the 6th century arrived they had names. A tradition attributed to Armenia gave them geographical locations.

          

     

                                                                   

    Works Cited

    Dhalla, Maneckji Nusservanji. Zoroastrian Civilization from the Earliest times to the Downfall of the Last Zorastrian Empire. New York: Oxford UP, 1922. Print.

     

    Dharmananda, Subhuti,  Ph.D. "BOTANICAL ORIGIN AND COLLECTION." Myrrh and Frankincense. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013.

     

    Gulevich, Tanya, and Mary Ann Stavros-Lanning. Encyclopedia of Christmas. Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics, 2000. Print.

     

    "History of the Medes." Web log post. N.p., n.d. Web.

     

    Ickis, Marguerite,  and Richard E. Howard. The Book of Festivals and Holidays  the World Over. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1970. Print.

     

    Jobes, Gertrude. Dictionary of Mythology,  Folklore and Symbols. New York: Scarecrow, 1961. Print.

    "Matthew 2:9 After They Had Heard the King, They Went on Their Way, and the Star They Had Seen When It Rose Went Ahead of Them until It Stopped over the Place Where the Child Was." Matthew 2:9 After They Had Heard the King, They Went on Their Way, and the Star They Had Seen When It Rose Went Ahead of Them until It Stopped over the Place Where the Child Was. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013

     

    Missler, Chuck. "Who Were the Magi?" Web  log post. Who Were the Magi? N.p., Nov.-Dec. 1999. Web. 12 Dec. 2013.

     

    Moulton, James Hope. The Treasure of the Magi; a Study of Modern Zoroastrianism,. London: H. Milford, Oxford UP, 1917. Print.

     

    Zaehner, R. C. The Teachings of the Magi: A Compendium of Zoroastrian Beliefs. London: Allen & Unwin, 1956. Print.

     

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