Epiphany Blessing

Post Date: January 6, 2023
Author: Laura Stephens

“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.”
– Matthew 2:2

These wanderers from the East are searching for the new King. They have studied the stars and know that this new star that appears bears great news and points the way. On a journey, they begin to cross the land to seek Jesus whom they do not really understand. Though they are not of Jewish descent and are not looking for the Messiah, they know this event is something special. This event is special because it shows a manifestation of Christ incarnate to the Gentile. All people are loved by God and for all He has come to save us!

The Feast of Epiphany is celebrated on the Twelfth Day after Christmas which is today January 6th. Epiphany is when the Church recalls the visit of the Maji to the Holy Family. Its celebration in the United States is moved to the nearest Sunday so it is celebrated together with our Church family this coming Sunday, January 8th.

This beautiful encounter of the Maji is filled with their adoration and their desire to share what they had with this newborn King. May the Feast of Epiphany also lead to an epiphany (insight) in your life that we, too, must seek Him who was born for us. The more we look with eyes of faith, the more we can see His continual presence in our lives. From that realization, we cannot help but give back to Him.

How will we seek Jesus in this coming year? How will we use our time, talents, and treasure to honor Him?

One beautiful Epiphany tradition that your family can easily accomplish is the Chalking of the Door. This Epiphany blessing has been around for centuries throughout the world. It is a beautiful way to rededicate ourselves to Jesus and to humbly request Him to bless our homes for the coming year.

The blessing can be led by a priest, head of the household, parent, or spiritual leader of the house. All you need is white chalk and holy water along with the script listed below.

What better way to start your year off right than with blessing your home?

Let me explain the blessing that you will write on the lintel or door of your home. It has rich meaning that is good to understand before you begin the blessing.

The chalking of the lintel is a reference and connection to the time of the Passover when God instructed His people to place the lamb’s blood on the lintel for salvation from the angel of death. The blessing is written in the middle of the door lintel or door itself since modern doors are not like doors of old.

  • First, you place the initials of the Magi’s names – Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar- separated with a small cross between each initial. These initials also stand for a phrase in Latin that means “Christ Bless This House”
    (“CHRISTUS MANSIONEM BENEDICAT”).
  • Then before the first initial you write 20 for the first numbers of the current year.
  • After the last Maji initial you place 23 for the last two numbers of the current year.
  • The final writing on the door will appear like this: 20 C + M + B 23

Before chalking your lintel or door, you would lead your family in the blessing. There are several variations so here is one possible option to pray with:

On entering the home

Leader (Priest, if present, or father of the family): Peace be to this house.

All: And to all who dwell herein.

All: From the east came the Magi to Bethlehem to adore the Lord; and opening their treasures they offered precious gifts: gold for the great King, incense for the true God, and myrrh in symbol of His burial.

All Pray: The Magnificat. During the Magnificat, the room is sprinkled with holy water and incensed. After this is completed, we continue the prayer.

All: From the east came the Magi to Bethlehem to adore the Lord; and opening their treasures they offered precious gifts: gold for the great King, incense for the true God, and myrrh in symbol of His burial.

Leader: Our Father…

And lead us not into temptation

All: But deliver us from evil.

Leader: All they from Saba shall come

All: Bringing gold and frankincense.

Leader: O Lord, hear my prayer.

All: And let my cry come to You.

Leader: Let us pray. O God, who by the guidance of a star didst on this day manifest Thine only-begotten Son to the Gentiles, mercifully grant that we who know Thee by faith may also attain the vision of Thy glorious majesty. Through Christ our Lord.

(The Chalking)

All: Amen.

Here at this link is a slightly longer formula for the blessing from the USCCB.

May your family know how deeply you are loved and how much Christ wants to bless you in this coming year! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

References:

Photo by Marcel Eberle on Unsplash

The Chalking blessing quote retrieved from https://www.stpiusappleton.org/chalkingdoors

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