How to bless your home on the Feast of Epiphany 2024
Denver Newsroom, Jan 6, 2022 / 03:00 am
Have you ever gone past a door with what appears to be random letters and numbers written at the top? These letters and numbers actually have a great significance.
Traditionally on the feast of Epiphany, Catholics bless their homes by writing the letters C, M and B and the numbers of the year, for example 2024, at the top of their doors. The letters stand for the names of the three Magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. They also represent the Latin blessing Christus mansionem benedicat, which means “May Christ bless this house.”
Many Catholic parishes will give their parishioners a piece of chalk, a small bottle of holy water, and the house blessing written so that each family can go and bless their homes.
Epiphany, which is also known as “Little Christmas,” is the feast that celebrates the arrival of the three Magi who had come to worship the Child Jesus shortly after his birth. It is traditionally celebrated on Jan. 6. However, in the United States, in the Novus Ordo, it is celebrated on the Sunday between Jan. 2 and Jan 8. Many around the world celebrate this feast with as much pomp and circumstance as Christmas, including the exchanging of gifts.
The blessing, which is popular in Poland and other Slavic countries, has spread around the world and is becoming increasingly popular in the United States.
How do you bless your home?
Begin by having all family members gather outside the front door. All make the sign of the cross. One person will then read this prayer:
Priest/Leader: Peace be to this house.
All: And to all who dwell herein.
Leader: From the east came the Magi to Bethlehem to adore the Lord; and opening their treasures they offered precious gifts: gold for the great King, incense for the true God, and myrrh in symbol of His burial.