Added on 07/01/2014
Standardisation of the school year by the Department of Education and Skills has meant that, for the first time in living memory, Irish primary school children returned to school before 7 January in 2014. Traditionally school Christmas holidays didn’t end until after the Feast of the Epiphany (6 January).
In Cork, Cloyne and Ross, schools under the patronage of the Bishop, the Rt Revd Dr Paul Colton, were asked, therefore, to make a special effort to celebrate Epiphany on the first school day of 2014. Schools across the Diocese held special assemblies supported by local clergy, or attended the Epiphany celebrations in the local parish churches.
The Bishop himself attended the Epiphany Service in St Mary’s Church of Ireland National School, Carrigaline, Co Cork where the Service was planned by the Revd Elaine Murray and the school Principal, Ms Valerie Elliffe. Local parishioners were also invited by the school–children to come along. The Service of songs and readings, included also music played by teachers and pupils, as well as the opportunity for all the children to smell the difference between frankincense and myrrh. All were given a ‘gold’ chocolate coin too to remember the occasion.
Picture: Having blessed the chalk for people to take home, the Bishop, gives the blessing at the end of the Service by marking the lintel of the school entrance with the traditional lettering: the year and the initials of the wise men.