20+C+M+B+13 (a house blessing)
AN EPIPHANY BLESSING FOR THE HOME
This short liturgy is a way of marking our homes, usually at the main entrance, with sacred signs and symbols as we ask God’s blessing upon those who live, work, or visit throughout the coming year. Although the service is intended for use in home dwellings like apartments, condos, houses, and college dorms, it is certainly appropriate when adapted for use in offices, places of business, nursing homes, hospital rooms, and extended-care facilities. On the Twelfth-Night after Christmas, many families gather in their homes to celebrate this Epiphany feast with friends, food, singing, and gifts. It is at these Twelfth-Night celebrations that “Chalking the Door” with this blessing is most often observed.
ONE: The Lord be with you;
ALL: And also with you.
ONE: Peace be to this house!
ALL: And to all who live here!
ONE: Let us pray.
O God, you once used a star to show to all the world that Jesus is your Son. May the light of that star that once guided wise men to his birth, now guide us to recognize him in the epiphanies of the daily experiences of our lives. As we go about our work, our study, our play, keep us in its light and in your love. May all who enter here find your gracious hospitality, for Christ has come to dwell in this house and in these hearts.
ALL: May Christ bless our home! Amen.
(Each person present can take turns writing the following blessing over the doorway of the house with chalk)
20 + C + M + B + 13
(The letters have two meanings. They are the initials of the customary names of the Three Magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. They also abbreviate the Latin words “Christus Mansionem Benedicat”, “May Christ bless the house”. The year is divided before and after the these letters. The crosses (+) represent the protection of the Christ.)
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