Updated: Jan 9
The Epiphany Blessing is a centuries old tradition in the Church, though in the US it is a little less practiced.
The blessing is normally done by the priest (or when he can't come, the father of the house) takes a piece of chalk blessed on the Epiphany to inscribe the message above. The crosses (not plus signs) represent the blessing which Christ bestows upon this house (Christus mansionem benedicat); the letters are also the first initials of the traditional names of the three magi or wise men: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar.
Due to Covid this year, the priest will be unable to go around to parishioners' homes...which is kind of extra sad, since the tradition has also been that, at the end of the blessing, the parishioners provided warm spiced wine, for which the priest also has a traditional blessing (shocker, right?).
To facilitate the blessings of the home, we have chalk board contact paper with the blessing already on it. All you have to do is take it home, say the prayers together, and place the blessing above the main doorway.
Prayer: (courtesy of catholicculture.org)
On entering the home,
Leader (Priest, if present, or father of the family) : Peace be to this house. All: And to all who dwell herein.
All: 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.
All Pray: The Magnificat. During the Magnificat, the room is sprinkled with holy water (if present). After this is completed,
All: 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.
Leader: Our Father. . .And lead us not into temptation
All: But deliver us from evil. Leader: All they from Saba shall come All: Bringing gold and frankincense. Leader: O Lord, hear my prayer. All: And let my cry come to You.
Leader: Let us pray. O God, who by the guidance of a star didst on this day manifest Thine only-begotten Son to the Gentiles, mercifully grant that we who know Thee by faith may also attain the vision of Thy glorious majesty. Through Christ our Lord.
Leader: Be enlightened, be enlightened, O Jerusalem, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee—Jesus Christ born of the Virgin Mary.
All: And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light and kings in the splendor of thy rising, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon thee.
Leader: Let us pray. 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.