Matthew writes that when the magi saw the shining star stop overhead, they were filled with joy. “On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother” (Matt. 2:10-11). In the home, Christ is met in family and friends, in visitors and strangers. In the home, faith is shared, nurtured, and put into action. In the home, Christ is welcome.
Twelfth Night (Jan 5), Epiphany of Our Lord (Jan 6), or another day during the time after Epiphany offers an occasion for gathering with friends and family members for a blessing for the home. Someone may lead the greeting and blessing, while another person may read the scripture passage. Following an eastern European traditions, a visual blessing may be inscribed with white chalk above the main door; for example, 20 + CMB + 19. The numbers change with each new year. The three letters stand for either the ancient Latin blessing Christe mansionem benedicat, which means, “Christ bless this house,” or the legendary names of the magi (Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar).
The following is a simple Blessing for the Home. Families can use this and every year at Epiphany. Chalk will be given out in church on Sunday, January 6, for families to use for the blessing.
May peace be to this house and all who enter here. By wisdom a house is built and through understanding it is established through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. (Proverbs 24:3-4)
As we prepare to ask God’s blessing on this household, let us listen to the words of scripture. Read John 1 verses 1-4, 14, and 16).
This inscription may be made with chalk above the entrance: 20 + CMB + 19. Write the appropriate character (left) while speaking the text (right)
The magi of old, known as
M Melchior, and
Followed the star of God’s Son who came to dwell among us
20 two thousand
19 and nineteen years ago.
+ Christ bless this house,
+ and remain with us throughout the year.
Prayer of Blessing
O God, you revealed your Son to all people by the shining of a star. We pray that you bless this home and all who live here with your gracious presence. May your love be our inspiration, your wisdom our guide, your truth our light, and your peace our benediction; through Christ our Lord. Amen.