Epiphany comes from the
Greek ἐπιφάνεια (epiphaneia), meaning “manifestation” or “revelation”—in this case a
revelation of God in Jesus Christ.
Today’s Feast of the Epiphany invites all of us to help proclaim Christ to the world and invoke the Lord’s blessing upon us and our house for the coming year.
We can observe Epiphany by following a tradition with ancient roots:
Epiphany Home Blessing
Members of the house should gather at the front door. Pray the Lord’s Prayer together. Then, the head of the house should pray the following:
“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 Your law and the action of graces through God the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And may this blessing remain upon this home and upon all who visit it. We ask this in the Name of Christ our Lord. Amen.”
With chalk, the head of the house writes the following at the top of the door of the house: AD 20 C+M+B 21. (You do not have to make marks, and instead can trace this symbolically.)
First, write the initials of the three kings, connected with Crosses, over the inside of your front door (on the lintel, if possible). Next, write the year, breaking up the numbers and the year so that they fall on both sides of the initials. It should look like this:
AD 20 C+M+B 21
“AD” stands for “Anno Domini” (the year of the Lord). The three letters “C, M, B” stand for the three kings who were traditionally known as Caspar, Melchoir, and Balthazar.
The numbers “20” and “21” indicate the millennium, decade, and year in which the blessing is given. The letters also stand for “Christus Mansionem Benedicat” –“Christ bless this house.”
Christian tradition of blessing the doorways into our homes symbolizes our commitment to welcome Christ into our homes on a daily basis throughout the year.
May the Lord bless you with his peace and protection,
Fr. Matthew O’Leary,