Epiphany Blessing of the Home

Hello friends,

Each year on the feast of Epiphany there is a tradition to bless the homes. When I was a child, I remember the parish priest visiting every single home to do the blessing.  We were from the Polish parish of SS Peter and Paul and our neighborhood was filled with many Polish immigrants. Many only spoke Polish, we had Mass in Polish and English and our school taught in Polish in the morning and English in the afternoons.  Epiphany blessing of the home with "chalking the door" was a popular Polish custom.



I have frankincense tears and myrrh oil (Commiphora Myrrha) that I use in my soap making so I always utilize it for the feast of Epiphany.  The blessed chalk and holy water is from St. Rose.  I take these with me when I carry the precious Eucharist to the home bound and bless their homes on this holy day as well.

Here is the modern day ritual for this day by Gretchen Filz  




EPIPHANY WATER: There is a special blessing for water on the feast of the Epiphany because of its connection to the celebration of Jesus’ baptism. This ancient rite of the blessing of the waters, with its extraordinarily powerful prayers of exorcism, renders Epiphany Water more spiritually potent than ‘ordinary’ holy water (also, exorcised salt is part of the ritual and is used to ‘make’ Epiphany water).
BLESSED CHALK: There is a long-standing Epiphany tradition of marking churches, homes, schools, and other buildings with a special ‘holy formula’ over the entryway using chalk that has been blessed for this purpose on Epiphany. This formula includes the current year along with the initials C, M, and B in the order shown below.
20 + C + M + B + 19

The C, M, and B are placed in between the numbers of the current year, with crosses in between each symbol. The three letters have two significations: the invocation Christus Mansionem Benedicat (Christ bless this house), as well as the first initial of the names of the three Magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar.

BLESSING OF HOMES: Epiphany, including its octave, is the traditional time of year to have your home blessed by a priest. If it isn’t possible to have a priest bless your home, the head of the family household (i.e. the husband/father) can preside over the ceremony as in the above link to the Roman Ritual. After the ritual, mark 20 + C + M + B + 18 over the entryway of the home with chalk.
BLESSING OF GOLD, FRANKINCENSE, & MYRRH: There is also a special Epiphany blessing in honor of the original Christmas gifts. The faithful can have their items of gold blessed (such as wedding rings and rosaries), myrrh for medicinal use, and frankincense to be used for the Epiphany home blessing and other liturgical feasts (such as Easter).

Here is the traditional marking of the chalk marking of the door to my home, completed with the blessing on this Epiphany morning.  Our home was always blessed by the priest who marked the home in this manner each year.





Wishing you a new year filled with wonder, hope and happiness!

Thanks for visiting,

Bonnie




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