Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Preparing for Epiphany: Blessing your home!


It's an old custom to bless homes on Epiphany which is celebrated this year on this coming Sunday, January 2, 2011.

Some parishes provide blessed chalk for marking the front door as part of this house blessing.  If not, you may use your own chalk.

The Blessing of a House on the Feast of the Epiphany

All gather at the front door and one person is chosen as the Leader of prayer.

Leader:
In the name of the Father 
and of the Son 
and of the Holy Spirit. 
Amen.

Peace be with this house and with all who live here.
Blessed be the name of the Lord, now and forever.

During these days of the Christmas season,
we keep this feast of Epiphany,
celebrating the manifestation of Christ to the Magi.

Today Christ is manifest to us!
Today this home is a holy place. 
The lintel above the door is marked.  If a number of people are present, individuals might be invited to mark the several elements of the inscription as found below. 



The traditional marking of the doorway commemorates the three magi (traditionally named Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar) and gives the calendar year already recently begun. The markings for this year are:

20 + C + M + B + 11

One person is chosen to read the gospel:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Saint John

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.
And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father's only Son,
full of grace and truth.



All who are present proceed from one room to the next,
asking God’s blessing on all that takes place in that room:

Lord, bless this room 
and bless those who dwell here
with faith, hope and love.

Coming finally to the dining room or kitchen table,
all join in praying the Lord’s Prayer…

after which the Leader prays:

Lord God of Heaven and earth,
You revealed your only begotten Son to every nation
by the guidance of a star.
Bless this house and all who live here.
Fill them with the light of Christ,
that their concern for others may reflect your love.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

All join in singing a Christmas hymn 
(Silent Night or O Come All Ye Faithful or We Three Kings
and perhaps enjoy some refreshments.


 
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3 comments:

Fran said...

I love this tradition! And I love the idea of giving out holy chalk!

shall remain nameless said...

Maybe this is a dumb question, but I am wondering, if something is blessed, is it also, necessarily, holy? I guess I mean is it kind of the same thing?

thank you.

Austin Fleming said...

It is the same thing, but it is, by prayer, set apart as something for sacred use and thus deserving of special respect and care.