Blessing for a Home at Epiphany – January 6, 2021
Matthew writes that when the magi saw the shining star stop overhead, they were filled with joy. “On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother” (Matt. 2:10-11). In the home, Christ is met in family and friends, in visitors and strangers. In the home, faith is shared, nurtured, and put into action. In the home, Christ is welcome.
Twelfth Night (January 5) or another day during the season of Epiphany offers an occasion for gathering with friends and family members for a blessing of the home. Following an eastern European tradition, a visual blessing may be inscribed with white chalk above the main door; for example, 20+C+M+B+21. The numbers change with each new year. The three letters stand for either the ancient Latin blessing Christe mansionem benedica, which means, “Christ, bless this house” or the legendary names of the magi (Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar).
May peace be to this house and to all who enter here. By wisdom, a house is built and through understanding, it is established… Proverbs 24:3.
Reading John 1
As we prepare to ask God’s blessing on this household, let us listen to the words of scripture: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and theWord was God. Christ was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. From his fullness, we have all received, grace upon grace.
This inscription may be made with chalk above the entrance: 20+C+M+B+21
The magi of old, known as
M: Melchior, and
followed the star of God’s Son who came to dwell among us
20: two thousand
21: and twenty-one years ago.
+: Christ, bless this house,
+: and remain with us throughout the new year.
Prayer of Blessing
O God, you revealed your Son to all people by the shining light of a star.
We pray that you bless this home and all who live here with your gracious presence. May your love be our inspiration, your wisdom our guide, your truth our light and your peace our benediction; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Then everyone may walk from room to room, blessing the house with incense or by sprinkling with water, perhaps using a branch from the Christmas tree.