20 + C + M + B + 19

Dear friends,

One of the traditions associated with Epiphany is to bless one’s house, and to mark the entrance with blessed chalk. This can be done by gathering the family together in front of the crib-scene or other suitably devotional item, with the head of the house leading the prayer below; or if you would prefer, a priest can perform the blessing – ask Fr Neil or me, we would be more than happy to do so.

Let us pray. O Lord, Almighty God, bless this house that it may become a shelter of health, chastity, self-conquest, humility, goodness, mildness, obedience to the commandments, and thanksgiving to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Upon this house and those who dwell herein may Your blessing remain forever, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

At Mass today we will be blessing the chalk, this is then used to write the inscription over the entrance to the house. The three letters in the middle stand for the names tradition gives to the three wise men (Caspar, Melchior, Balthazar), but also for the Latin Christus Mansionem Benedicat (may Christ bless this house); with the numbers at the beginning and end being this year. Do take some chalk as you leave.