The Yearly Blessing of Home
On the first day of Epiphany (January 6), it’s customary in many homes across the world to mark the support above the front door with symbols of blessing. Our family has done this in the past and found it to be a meaningful way to usher in the new year!
Mark the front door (on the inside frame) with these symbols: the date, abbreviation of the phrase Christus Mansionem Benedicat (“Christ bless this home” – which are also the initials of traditional names for the Magi – Casper, Melchior, and Balthasar), and four crosses (representing the four seasons).
Order the symbols in the following way:
20 + C + M + B + 24
Be as artistic and creative as you want. Use markers or do a collage on a piece of cardboard! The marking can also be made with chalk on darker wood for those who like to keep things simple.
You may choose to gather your household by the door and pray for the coming year, for your neighbors, or for all who will enter your house. For a simple liturgy you can follow, see below!
God’s joy and blessing be upon your house this New Year! And may God bless us all so that we might be a blessing to others.
Leader: Peace be with this house and with all who live here.
Leader: Today, we gather to recognize that Christ dwells here. As the Three Kings followed the light of the star, we too follow the light of Christ to be a place of welcome, a people of generosity, and a dwelling place for God. The home is where we first learn about God’s love for us, where we learn to pray, to forgive and receive forgiveness, to offer our gifts, and to bless each other.
We ask God today to open our hearts so that this home may be opened to neighbor and traveler, and that this family may be a source of welcome for all in need and a place where Christ is found.
As the Scripture below is read, the oldest and the youngest persons of the household may take turns using chalk to write “20 + C + M + B + 24” on the frame of the front door (or on a separate card). A reader may slowly read the following passage from John 1 as the inscription is written over the door.
In the beginning was the Word, (write 2)
and the Word was with God, (write 0)
and the Word was God. (write +)
He was in the beginning with God. (write C)
All things came to be through Him, (write +)
and without Him, nothing came to be. (write M)
And the Word became flesh (write +)
and made His home among us, (write B)
and we saw His glory, (write +)
the glory as of the Father’s only Son, (write 2)
full of grace and truth. (write 4)
2nd Reader: “And the star that the Wisemen had seen at its rising went before them until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house, they saw the child with Mary, his mother. They bowed down and worshipped him.”
Leader: May Christ (Christus) + this Home (Mansionem) + Bless (Benedicat) + and remain with us throughout the new year. Lord, remember your children and teach us to pray:
All: Our Father, who art in heaven….
Leader: May the Lord watch over our going out and our coming in, today and always.