From: Orlin Brommer
For a few weeks before Christmas these last years, Three Kings have travelled across the lawn of Hope’s church in Cochrane. Early in December they began their travel down Park Street in order to make it to Baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in time to celebrate Three King’s Day on January 6.
Although my spelling often can be suspect, in Spanish-speaking countries the celebration is called “Fiesta de Los tres Reyes Magos,” translating to “The festival of the three Magic Kings.”
Our mother, with Luxembourg roots, taught us about the feast of the Maji when we were children in the 1950s.Sometimes we received a gift on Three King’s Day. In the 1980s an elderly cousin of my dad’s told me about the Three Kings being displayed in Norway. As a child she shared a bedroom with her grandmother, my great-grandmother Brommer, an immigrant. In bed, after the lamps were extinguished, Grandma Sigri, a.k.a. Sigrid, would tell of the Three Kings who appeared above the alter in a family church near her home in Nord Aurdel near Fagernes about 100 miles north of Oslo.
My dad’s cousin knew I was going to Norway so she asked me to look for the church with the kings on display. While preparing our trip planned for the summer before the Lillehammer Olympics, I gathered what information I could, and one of the first things I looked for when I got to Nord Ardul was the church.
The Saturday morning when we got there a woman was preparing for Sunday service. It almost seemed she was a guide waiting for visitors returning to their Gamalund.
As expected, her English was much better than my Norwegian and we soon entered into the quiet coolness of the small, pretty, white church of my ancestors. After positioning us in front of the pulpit she disappeared behind the alter, pulled on a couple of ropes and, as if by magic, the Three Kings noisily spun whatever statue was in front of them to the back and the Maji, as if on a merry-go-round, appeared to us on midsummer’s eve of 1993.
Here is hoping you and I have a magical year.