I hope you were able to welcome the New Year last Sunday in a way that you much enjoyed, whether that be in great celebration amid throngs of other individuals or whether that be in the simple quiet of your own home. Wherever and however we began 2018, may this Year be one filled with many blessings for all of us as well as our parish family of Annunciation.
You may remember that as we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany there is a tradition in the Church for families and individuals to bless their homes. For this blessing the family gathers at the front entrance, or their most used doorway of entry into their home, to ask God’s blessing upon each of them who live there, as well as all those who will come and visit their home in the new year. The blessing is an invitation for Jesus to be a daily guest in your home, in your comings and goings, in your conversations, your work and play, and in your joys and sorrows.
The traditional way of doing this is to use the blessed piece of chalk you received at church to write above your home’s entrance, 20 + C + M + B + 18.
The letters C, M, B have two meanings. They are the initials of the traditional names of the three magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. They also abbreviate the Latin words Christus mansionem benedicat, “May Christ bless this house.”
The “+” signs represent the cross and 2018 is the year.
I would like to invite you to adopt this custom for your family as you begin another New Year together.
Blessing of a Home at Epiphany
R. From this time forth for evermore.
Let us pray.
Loving God, bless our home with this chalk which you have created, that it may be helpful to us your people; and grant that through the invocation of your most Holy Name that we who use it in faith to write upon the door of our home the names of your holy ones Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, may receive health of body and protection of soul for all who dwell in or visit our home; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Marking the lintel of your front doorway of your Home:
With the blessed chalk write as follows:
20 + C + M + B + 18 while saying:
The three Wise Men, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar followed the star of God’s Son who became human two thousand and sixteen years ago.
May Christ bless our home and remain with us throughout the New Year. Amen.
Then offer the following prayer:
Visit, O blessed Lord, this home with the gladness of your presence. Bless all who live or visit here with the gift of your love; and grant that we may manifest your love to each other and to all whose lives we touch. May we grow in grace and in the knowledge and love of you; guide, comfort, and strengthen us in peace, O Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen
With time the chalk will fade and as it does we are to let the meaning of the symbols written above our doors to sink into the depths of our heart and be manifested in our words and actions, the Latin words, Christus mansionem benedictat, “May Christ bless this house.”
ALSO…Please don’t forget about our Chili Cook Off this coming Saturday evening! I hope many of you can join in this community event where a number of recipes of chili will be put before us for tasting and our collective judgment on whose is the Best of Annunciation! It will be a fun night.
And for all of the parents who had a child baptized here in 2017….Please be sure to join us at the 10am Mass next Sunday for a special blessing as we look to complete the Christmas Season remembering the Baptism of our Lord. We will have donut holes for these families--and all other young families--following this Mass to celebrate their children’s share in the Baptism of Jesus Christ!
May you have a blessed week –