Local Carmelite House with the numbers put outside their door
The Feast of the Epiphany is a good time to pray a blessing upon your home. This page can give you inspiration and simple instructions on how to do it. Have you ever marked your home for Epiphany and God’s Blessing in The Magi? 2-0-C-M-B-2-3. Have you had a family/household ceremony of an Epiphany home blessing using holy water?(P.S. Bottles available at our church)? Has a clergyman (priest/deacon) ever been invited by to bless your new home or a home with a new baby in it? These are all Catholic customs. On the Feast of The Epiphany and its following days of Epiphany-tide, they are worthwhile being pointed out to you.
The chalk blessing and/or the Holy Water Home blessing and a House Centering Prayer (at its entrance) are all an Epiphany devotions. People may have prayers around a Manger Set in their home, or by the Family Bible in the living room, or nearby a holy image up in their household. (Do you have one or all in your home?) The below is a print-out for such Epiphany blessings. The custom is of welcoming Jesus to be a daily Guest and Influence in your home, in the comings and goings of it, in one’s conversations, and meal gatherings and in all social exchanges.
The Marking about the Door with Chalk.
People write in chalk the first letters of the Magi’s names with the year numbers. A traditional practice is to write or put it above or near the home’s entrance, 20 + C + M + B + 23. [Or as 2+C+0+M+2+B+3.] The letters C, M, B have two meanings. They are the initials of the Magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. They also abbreviate the phrase for “May Christ bless the house” as in Latin it’s “Christus mansionem benedicat.”The “+” are for the cross and 2023 is The Year. Blessing the Chalk [Buy the chalk at any store. If you have Holy Water, then sprinkle it over the chalk. If not, then just invoke a blessing from your baptismal identity in Christ. ] Begin with a Sign of the Cross, then pray
V. Our help is the name of the Lord: R. The maker of heaven and earth.
V. The Lord shall watch over your going out and your coming in: R. From this time forth for evermore.
Let us pray. Loving God, bless this chalk which you have created, that it may be helpful to your people; and grant that through the invocation of your most Holy Name that we who use it in faith to write upon the door of our home the names of your holy ones Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, may receive health of body and protection of soul for all who dwell in or visit our home; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Now write/place the letters and numbers up.
Epiphany/Epiphany-tide Blessing of the Home [A Sign of the Cross, if beginning here.]
If you have a family Bible, then open it and proclaim the Magi Gospel. Matthew 2:1-12. Or else, read:
“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…and on (later) entering the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother. They prostrated themselves…and…offered Him gold, frankincense and myrrh.”
V. The three Wise Men, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar followed the star of God’s Son who became human two millennia and some years ago. In this 2023 celebration of The Lord’s Anointed coming to us, we pray… R (all) May Christ bless our home and remain with us throughout the new year. Amen.
2 If there is a Manger Set or Holy Image in the House, then you may finish the Blessing Prayer beside it.
V. Visit, O blessed Lord, this home with the gladness of Your Presence. May the intercession of the Magi, who were overjoyed at the fulfillment of their search, in finding The Blessed Hope of Jesus, in the care of Mary and Joseph, may their joy also be ours!
R. In this Christmas time, we ‘find’ You again, Lord, as The One Who has come to us, and Who has made an indwelling to us. So, bless us all who live here, and also bless all of those who come and visit here. In You, O Christ, and with the holy saints, in Your One Body, grant us to share in the gifts of Faith, Hope and Love—the three dearest virtues of our covenant faith.
V. In living by The Great Virtues, and by means of all our gifts and treasures, help us to glorify Your Name, O Lord Jesus, and, by the inspiration from The Holy Spirit, guide us to support the work You do on earth, such as via Your Church, whom You embody as her righteousness and bond to the Almighty Father.
R. May we all grow in grace and in the knowledge and love of You; O God! Please do guide, comfort, and strengthen us in peace, both now and forever. Amen.
V. Let us praise God, Who fills our hearts and home with blessed peace.
R. Blessed be God forever!
V. Who visited and blessed the homes of Abraham and Sarah, of Joshua and his family, and of Simon Peter and his family, of Martha and Mary and Lazarus, and of Zacchaeus– R. Bless ours too! Amen.