Bless your home on Epiphany

We invite you to incorporate this Catholic tradition into your family’s celebration of the Epiphany. The purpose of this ceremony is to seek God’s blessing on your family, your home, and all those who visit you. It is an annual renewal of your family’s invitation that Jesus be the unseen guest at every meal and the silent listener to every conversation. This family ceremony seeks God’s blessing on our new year; our comings and goings, our work and play, our joys and sorrows. This is a simple way of revealing to all that Jesus Christ is our King.

A traditional way of doing this is to use chalk to write above your home’s entrance the new year in a special way. You will need chalk, blessed if possible and holy water if available. Possible ceremony format follows…

Family Celebration of the Epiphany (Printer Friendly version)

 

Blessing Ceremony of the Home and Household on Epiphany

Process to or gather by the front door of your home.

Suggested Songs: O Come All Ye Faithful, We Three Kings, Joy to the World,

 

Dad/Head of Household:  We begin in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Dad: Blessed be the name of the Lord.

All:  Both now and forever.
Dad: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
A: Who made heaven and earth.

Mom (or older child): A reading from the Gospel of Matthew:

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.”

  • The Gospel of the Lord

All: Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ

Dad: The three Wise Men sought to worship the Christ Child. They brought their gifts as an offering to honor the newborn King. Tradition has interpreted the gifts of the three Wise Men as gold for the great King, frankincense for the true God, and myrrh for the suffering Redeemer.

Mom: On this Feast we seek to offer our gifts, our family, and our home as an offering to Christ the King.  We are seeking to recognize, as a family that Jesus is our King, our God, and our Redeemer. We are asking for God to bless this family and home as we look forward to a new year.

Child: The three Wise Men, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar followed the star to the humble dwelling of the Holy Family. Jesus, please visit our home and stay with us throughout the year.

Dad: [Make the sign of the cross on the front door with the holy water praying:] Jesus, be the King of this family and household. Be the unseen guest at every meal and the silent listener to every conversation.

Mom: [Make the sign of the cross on the front door with the holy water praying:] Jesus, we recognize you as the one true God and friend of this family. May all who enter this home find Christ’s light and love.

Child: [Make the sign of the cross on the front door with the holy water praying:] Jesus, we claim you as our Savior and Lord.

Dad: Visit, O blessed Lord, this home with the gladness of your presence. Bless all who live or visit here with the gift of your love; and grant that we may manifest your love to each other and to all whose lives we touch. May we grow in grace and in the knowledge and love of you; guide, comfort, and strengthen us in peace, O Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen

Mom: Now we will mark this home for all to see that we are Catholic family seeking the blessing of God. A traditional way of doing this is to write with blessed chalk above your home’s entrance a symbol of the new year in a special way. Each child can take a turn writing a number, letter, or cross. [Write: 20 + C + M + B + 18] The letters C, M, B have two meanings. The traditional names of the three Wise Men are Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. They also abbreviate the Latin words Christus mansionem benedicat, “May Christ bless the house.” The “+” signs represent the cross and the “20” at the beginning and the “18” at the end mark the year.

Dad: May all who come to our home this year rejoice to find Christ living among us; and may we seek and serve, in everyone we meet, that same Jesus who is your incarnate Word, now and forever. Amen.

God of heaven and earth, you revealed your only-begotten One to every nation by the guidance of a star. Bless this house and all who inhabit it. Fill us with the light of Christ, that our concern for others may reflect your love. We ask this through Christ our Savior. Amen.

Loving God, bless this household. May we be blessed with health, goodness of heart, gentleness, and abiding in your will. We ask this through Christ our Savior. Amen.

[Optional conclusion: Bless every room of your house with holy water in a family procession.]