Friday, January 15, 2010

An Epiphany Blessing


On Wednesday, January 6, I toted the kids up to the house for the traditional Epiphany blessing of the doorpost. Since the Middle Ages, people have been marking their doorposts in this manner and asking for the Lord's blessing upon their home.

If I had been thinking ahead, I would have asked Brendan's dad to bless our chalk the night before, but alas, this was a last-minute decision on my part. So, we made a stop at St Rita's parish for the deacon there to bless our chalk instead. He got all of the kids involved and admitted it was the first time he has ever blessed chalk for this European tradition. He was an excited and willing participant that day.

We then made the hike up to Ham Lake where the contractors were diligently at work on our home. Since the home is still unheated and the temps were in the single digits, our trip was a quick one! (I'm forever grateful for the hard work of these men in the freezing MN temps!)

I had prepared enough to bring a step stool, but even with that, I wasn't able to reach above our front door, which is eight feet tall. So, we moved into the garage and did the blessing over the service door.

The names of the wise men are not recorded in Scripture, but our tradition holds that their names were Caspar, Melchoir, and Balthazar. The custom is to use the initials of the wise men in the blessing along with the present year. I wrote "20+C+M+B+10" which means "Christus Mansionum Benedicat, 2010". Or, put simply, "May Christ Bless this Dwelling, the Year of Our Lord, 2010".

The chalked blessing above our doorpost

Clara, Max, and Eleanor
(Aidan didn't want to be in the photo)

This prayer also accompanies the blessing:

"Bless, O Lord, almighty God, this home so that in it there may be health, chastity, victorious strength, humility, goodness and mildness, obedience to God's laws, and acts of thanks to God the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, and may this blessing remain upon this house, and upon all who dwell in it. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen."

We hope for this to become a yearly Epiphany tradition for our home.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

How wonderful that you did this tradition at your new home! Even in the unfinished, building stage, it's now already been blessed a little with that blessed chalk. Cool! We did a little Epiphany home blessing here, too, but without marking our door, since our door won't be ours for long =)

P.S. I also am so glad to hear that Baby is doing well! Praise God!