Special services

Epiphany House Blessing Service

Following an eastern European tradition, either Twelfth Night (January 5) or the Epiphany of Our Lord (January 6) offers an occasion for a blessing for the home. A visual blessing may be inscribed with white chalk above the main door (for example, 20 + CMB + 23). The numbers change with each new year. The letters stand for either the ancient Latin blessing Christe mansionem benedicat, which means, “Christ, bless this house,” or the legendary names of the magi (Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar).

May peace be to this house and to all who enter here.

By wisdom a house is built and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. (Proverbs 24:3-4)

As we prepare to ask God’s blessing on this house, let us listen to the words of scripture:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.
The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. (John 1:1-4, 14, 16)


20 ☩ C M B ☩ 23

This inscription may be made with chalk above the entrance as the following is spoken:

The magi of old, known as

(write ‘C’)   Caspar,

(write ‘M’)  Melchior, and

(write ‘B’)   Balthasar followed the star of God’s Son who came to dwell among us

(write ‘20’) two thousand

(write ‘23’) and twenty-three years ago.

Inspire us by their witness, that while we live and dwell here, we too may follow your star and boldly shine with the light of Christ.

(write)  Christe mansionem bendicat; Christ, bless this house,

(write)  and remain with us throughout the new year.

Prayer of Blessing
O God, you revealed your Son to all people by the shining light of a star. We pray that you bless this home and all who live here with your gracious presence. May your love be our inspiration, your wisdom our guide, your truth our light, and your peace our benediction; through Christ our Lord.

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