Happy Epiphany! Today is the day we celebrate the Wisemen visiting the child Jesus and giving Him the gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. They follow the star that predicts the Lord’s coming and are able to find Him in the manger. This long journey is predicted in the Old Testament and is another sign that Jesus is the long-expected Messiah. In a sense, these Wisemen represent all the nations of the world who Christ is destined to save.
There is an old blessing of homes that is associated with this day. If you notice, in the back of Church on the top of the door are the letters, “20 + C + M + B + 20” (or 21 as I have already changed it for the year) written in chalk. This chalk is especially blessed for this day. The letters of course refer to the year (20 and 21) and the traditional names of the three Wisemen (Casper, Melchior and Balthazar.) Though the solemn version of this blessing of homes has to be done by a priest and involves Holy Water and incense, a simple blessing can be done by a priest or the head of the household. I have provided bless chalk in the back of church today for anyone who would like to draw these letters on their own doors and ask God for blessings on their houses for the upcoming year.
All you need to do is draw the letters. “20 + C + M + B + 20” and say a prayer with all those who live in the household. If you can’t think of anything to say, then you can say an Our Father and the following, “Bless, O Lord God almighty, this home, that in it there may be health, purity, the strength of victory, humility, goodness and mercy, the fulfillment of Thy law, the thanksgiving to God the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. And may this blessing remain upon this home and upon all who dwell herein. Through Christ our Lord.”
It’s good to return to Catholic tradition and to ask God for more blessings on our houses. After the previous year, it cannot hurt to try!