Catholics are being encouraged to place God at the entrance of their home today with an Epiphany House Blessing.
This wonderful tradition involves writing the following in chalk, which has been blessed by a priest, above your front door.
20 + C + M + B + 20.
Fr Kevin Dow, from the Parish of the Most Holy Trinity in West Fife, has been carrying out the tradition for around ten years.
He said: “It celebrates the Feast of the Epiphany. The chalk is blessed then given out at Mass with a short prayer, which I’ve published in our newsletter (see below).
“Family and friends can then gather at the door of a home and ask for God’s blessing on their dwelling and all who live or visit there.
“It’s done across the three churches in our parish and certainly a lot of chalk gets taken by parishioners. It’s a lovely tradition and good to see on doors when you’re out and about in the parish.”
What it means
20 + C + M + B + 20.
The first 20 is the current century.
‘C’ stands for the first Wise Man, Caspar.
‘M’ stands for Melchior.
‘B’ stands for Balthasar.
The final ‘20’ is the current year.
It’s believed that the Kings’ initials also stand for “Christus mansionem benedicat” (“Christ, bless this house”).
How to Bless your home
You can use the following prayer and blessing, which is published in the latest newsletter of the Parish of the Most Holy Trinity.
All: All make the sign of the cross.
Leader: Peace be to this house and to all who dwell here in the name of the Lord.
All: Blessed be God forever.
Read: John 1:1-14 and then PRAY together the Our Father.
Take the blessed chalk and write the following inscription above the main entrance door: 20+C+M+B+20
All: 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 inhabit it. May we be blessed with health, goodness of heart, gentleness and the keeping of your law. Fill us with the light of Christ, that our love for each other may go out to all. Father, bless all who gather here. Send your holy angel to defend us and fill with grace all who enter this door. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.