How to pray for your home using the Epiphany Blessing
*Epiphany Blessing of the threshold:
20 † C † M † B † 20 (The letters have 2 meanings. They are the initials of the names of the 3 Magi: St Caspar, Melchior & Balthasar. They also abbreviate the Latin words “Christus Mansionem Benedicat.” Which means “May Christ bless this home.”
To use the chalk:
The head of the household reads the prologue of St John’s Gospel (chapter 1:1-14), followed by an ‘Our Father’, and the ‘Collect of the Epiphany’ (below); then he writes the inscription for this year above the front door of the home with white blessed chalk.
The Lintel of the main door of the house (and all other doors at will) is marked by the blessed chalk by the head of the household in the following way:
20 + C + M + B + 21 or C + M + B + 2021
Collect of the Epiphany:
“O God, who by the star this day revealed Thine only begotten Son to the nations, grant that we, who know thee now by faith, may be brought one day before the vision of Thy Majesty. Through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord, Thy Son, Who with Thee liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God forever and forever – Amen.”
Epiphany house blessing prayer:
“Sacred is this threshold of our home and holy is this door. This is the meeting place of friend, neighbor, and stranger. May it be a bridge for our comings and goings. Whenever we stand in its sacred circle, may our eyes be granted new vision, so that we can see in friend or stranger the God of ten thousand disguises. May this threshold be a sacred space where we come to celebrate the Sacrament of Hospitality. May the spirits of evil never cross this threshold, and may the Name of the All-Holy-One protect our home from harm. May God’s angels stand guard at the right and the left of this opening to grace our comings and goings. May we who live in this home guard the sacredness of this doorway. May our hearts be always alert to the danger of falseness and pretense as we greet those who come to our door. Let our affection be graced with honesty and reverence, and may the oil of truth burn in the lamp of our eyes. Help us to remember that our ancestors were strangers and exiles in Egypt, that Joseph and Mary came knocking at a door like this, weary and in search of kindness. May we receive all at this door as Godly guests. May the blessing of God, and peace and grace of the All-Holy-One, surround this threshold and rest upon all who shall pass across it.”
Add this optional prayer:
The prayer which is said while marking the door is as follows:
The three wise men
Followed the star of God’s Son who became man
20 two thousand
20 years ago
May Christ bless our home and remain with us throughout the year.
Almighty God incline your ear. Bless us and all who are gathered here, send us your holy angel who will defend us and fill with grace all who dwell here – Amen.
EPIPHANY INSCRIPTION OVER THE DOORWAY OF THE HOME The crosses over the doorway represent, first the protection of the precious blood of Christ, whom we invoke (recall that the doorway of the Israelites were sprinkled with the blood of the Paschal lamb, to protect them from death in Egypt). The other 3 crosses represent the holiness of the three Magi, who became saints. The inscription is made above the front door, so that all who may enter and depart this year may enjoy God’s blessing. The inscription is made with chalk, a product of clay (recall that God formed Adam of clay): this recalls Our Lord’s human nature, taken of the Virgin Mary by the Adorable and Eternal Word of God.
Dr Dan Schneider (on radio): ‘Epiphanes’ means to “make known”. It means ‘a god takes a human form.’ Just like the wicked king Antiochus Epiphanes IV (cf. 1 Maccabees 2:20-62; 2:1-48) believed he was a god in human form on earth. Jesus is the true God who makes his true epiphany in human form. Remember, prayer begets what it signifies, especially when it is linked to a liturgical day, it makes it that much more powerful because your bringing in the entire weight of the Church through the Pope, Bishops & the Priest sacramental prayers upon your house. Your epiphany prayer over your house taps into the mystical body of Christ, your tapping into the prayer power of the Church militant, suffering and triumphant. This augments the blessings and graces upon your house because there is so much prayer power flowing around the world for this special feast day. Eg. a swimmer will swim a lot faster if he swims in the same direction of a strong river current, he will not swim as fast in a still pond of water. Picture a Roman soldier about to go into battle. As they stand information rhythmically pounding their shields, slowly, methodically, with quiet intensity, it strikes fear in the heart of their enemies. This is exactly what Catholic prayer does when it is united to a feast day, or united to particular times of the day when the Church is at prayer. In prayer Catholics, the angels and saints are tapping their shields saying: We serve Christ the King and so will you!