Tuesday, January 6, 2015

An Epiphany Blessing

When we arrived at Mass this last Sunday there was a neat stack of prayers sitting by each of the front entrances, along with a box of blessed chalk and a box of containers of holy water.  Our pastor announced that everyone was encouraged to take one of each of the items, and that the paper contained a prayer and instructions for blessing ones home for Epiphany.

We did it out in the cold on Sunday, since Epiphany is observed on Sunday, but I thought I'd post about it on today, January 6th, Little Christmas for anyone who might be interested in blessing their home today.

You don't need a priest to come to your house to bless it on Epiphany.  The head of the household can say the prayers and do the blessing.  The blessing for the chalk can be found here.

And this is the prayer our family used, from The Twelve Days of Christmas by Elsa Chaney:

Leader (Father/head of the family): Peace 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.

(During the Magnificat, the room is sprinkled with holy water.)

All: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, 
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior 
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
The Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, 
and has lifted up the lowly. 
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, 
to Abraham and his children for ever.

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.
All: Amen.

Leader: Be enlightened, be enlightened, O Jerusalem, for they light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee- Jesus Christ born of the Virgin Mary.
All: And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light and kings in the splendor of thy rising, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon thee.

Leader: Let us pray.  Bless, +O Lord God almighty, this home, that in it there may be health, purity, the strength of victory, humility, goodness and mercy, the fulfillment of Thy law, the thanksgiving to God the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.  And may this blessing remain upon this home and upon all who dwell herein.  Through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.

After the prayers of the blessing are recited, each room of the home is sprinkled with Epiphany water. The initials of the Magi are inscribed above the main entrance with blessed chalk.  The initials of the three magi, C for Caspar, M for Melchior, B for Balthasar, can also be interpreted as the Latin phrase "Christus mansionem benedicat" which means "Christ bless this house." 

 Example: 20 + C + M + B + 15

And here are a few of the pictures I snapped during the blessing of our home after we got home from Mass!


  1. Argh! I totally forgot to bring some chalk to our priest just for this purpose. I love the annual Epiphany Blessing! In our former parish our priest would bless the doors from the inside, which would save you from having to go out into the cold.it is a wonderfully lovely tradition that serves as an another visual reminder of who we are and whom we serve when we walk through the door. Happy Epiphany!

  2. My daughter brought her own chalk to church to be blessed. She got a really quizzical response from the priest. He did ultimately bless the chalk, but not before asking her what she wanted it blessed for. I wonder whether our priest would be more open to this.


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