The Tradition of Blessing Your Home on Epiphany
On the Feast of the Epiphany, in many cultures it is customary for them family to gather and ask God's blessing on their home and on those who live in or visit the home. It is an invitation for Jesus to be a daily guest in our home, our comings and goings, our conversations, our work and play, our joys and sorrows.
A traditional way of doing this is to use chalk to write
+20 C M B 18+
above the home's entrance. It can also be written somewhere inside the home. The letters C, M, B have two meanings: they are the initials of the traditional names of the three magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar and they also abbreviate the Latin words
Christus mansionem benedicat
, "May Christ bless the house. The "+" signs represent the cross and 2018 is the year.
If you would like to make this a tradition in your family, here's a suggested format for the blessing:
Epiphany House Blessing
All make the Sign of the Cross.
Leader: Peace be to this house and to all who dwell here, in the name of the Lord.
All: Thanks be to God.
Reader: When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage." After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.
The Word of the Lord.
ALL: Thanks be to God
Using chalk, write above the front main entrance:
+20 Christus Mansionem Benedicat 18+ (May Christ bless this house)
+20 Caspar Melchior Balthazar 18+ (the names of the Magi)
or +20 C M B 18+
All: Lord God of heaven and earth, you revealed your only begotten Son to every nation by the guidance of a star. Bless this house and all who live here and all who visit. May we be blessed with health, kindness of heart, gentleness and the keeping of your law. Fill us with the light of Christ, that our love for each other may go out to all. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.