St Elizabeth Ann Seton Newsletter
Epiphany Blessing for the Home
Blessed chalk for the Epiphany blessing will be available at the doors of the church after each Mass this weekend, the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. The text of the Epiphany blessing is found below. It is also in this weekend’s bulletin
Epiphany (also known as Twelfth Night, Theophany, or Three Kings Day) marks the occasion of a time-honored Christian tradition of “chalking the doors.” The formula for the ritual — adapted for 2020 — is simple: take chalk of any color and write the following above the entrance of your home:
20 + C + M + B + 20
The letters represent the initials of the Magi — Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar — who came to visit Jesus in His first home. They also abbreviate the Latin phrase,
Christus mansionem benedicat:
“May Christ bless the house.”
The “+” signs represent the cross, and the “20” at the beginning and the “20” at the end mark the year. Taken together, this inscription is performed as a request that Christ to bless those homes so marked that he stay with those who dwell therein throughout the entire year.
The chalking of the doors is a centuries-old practice throughout the world, though it appears to be somewhat less well-known in the United Sates. It is, however, an easy tradition to adopt, and a great practice whereby we dedicate our year to God from its very outset, asking His blessing on our homes and on all who live, work or visit them there.
Using the blessed chalk mark the lintel of your front door as follows:
20 + C + M + B + 20
The three Wise Men, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar followed the star of God’s Son who became human two thousand and fifteen years ago. May Christ bless our home and remain with us throughout the new year. Amen.
Visit, O blessed Lord, this home with the gladness of your presence. Bless all who live or visit here with the gift of your love; and grant that we may manifest your love to each other and to all whose lives we touch.
May we grow in grace and in the knowledge and love of you; guide, comfort, and strengthen us in peace, O Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen.
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