I hope everyone’s Christmas celebrations were filled with family time and good food; mine certainly was! Many thanks to all who sent me Christmas cards and/or dropped off some sweets throughout December; please know that I appreciate your kindness!
As we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord this weekend, I would like to offer a reminder that this is the feast on which many Catholics ask the Lord’s blessing on their homes, especially by marking a door frame in the house with chalk. Of course, this traditional practice is not required, but it is a noble one, and one by which you can teach your children or grandchildren about this feast day. As one author writes, this practice “not only places God at the entrance of your home, it places your entire family under his protection.” A priest is not required for this practice; anyone is permitted to lead it.
If you are interested in asking the Lord’s blessing upon your house and household for this feast day (don’t worry- it doesn’t have to happen exactly on the feast of Epiphany), then here is a format you can follow:
Upon entering the house [or at the front door]:
Leader: Peace be to this house.
All: And to all who dwell herein.
Leader: From the east came the Magi to Bethlehem to adore the Lord; and opening their treasures they offered precious gifts: gold for the great King, incense for the true God, and myrrh in symbol of His burial.
All: From the east came the Magi to Bethlehem to adore the Lord; and opening their treasures they offered precious gifts: gold for the great King, incense for the true God, and myrrh in symbol of His burial.
All: Our Father…
Leader: All they from Saba shall come
All: Bringing gold and frankincense.
Leader: O Lord, hear my prayer.
All: And let my cry come unto Thee.
Leader: Let us pray. O God, who by the guidance of a star didst on this day manifest Thine only-begotten Son to the Gentiles, mercifully grant that we who know Thee by faith may also attain the vision of Thy glorious majesty. Through Christ our Lord.
Leader: Be enlightened, be enlightened, O Jerusalem, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee– Jesus Christ born of the Virgin Mary.
All: And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light and kings in the splendor of thy rising, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon thee.
Leader: Let us pray. Bless, O Lord God almighty, this home, that in it there may be health, purity, the strength of victory, humility, goodness and mercy, the fulfillment of Thy law, thanksgiving to God the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. And may this blessing remain upon this home and upon all who dwell herein. Through Christ our Lord.
Then, take the chalk and first write the initials of the three Wise Men (“C” for Casper, “M” for Melchior, and “B” for Balthasar), connected with Crosses, over the inside of your front door (on the lintel, if possible). Then write the year, breaking up the numbers and the year so that they fall on both sides of the initials. So, when finished, it should look like this: 20 C+M+B 22.
Blessings to you all!