Marked by the Magi
Published on January 4-5, 2014 in the Parish Bulletin of Saint Andrew Catholic Church, Harrodsburg KY
Below is a blessing of a Catholic home on the Feast of the Epiphany. On this day when we celebrate the visit of the wise men to the Christ-Child, we are invited to mark our homes with the initials of those wise men, as if to say that they had visited our own homes and had found the same Christ-Child dwelling within.
I will bless at the Sunday Mass the chalk to be used for marking and will have them handed over to each family. Chalk, a product of clay, recalls the stuff from which we were made as well as our human nature that our Lord humbled Himself to share with us.
The blessing begins with everyone making the Sign of the Cross.
The leader greets those present in the following words:
Peace be to this house and to all who dwell here, in the name of the Lord.
All respond: Blessed be God forever.
The leader prepares those present for the blessing using these words:
The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.
It is Christ who enlightens our hearts and homes with His love.
May all who enter this home find Christ’s light and love.
One of those present reads a text of Sacred Scripture from John 1:1-5, 14:
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
All things came to be through Him, and without Him
nothing came to be. What came to be through Him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
And the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us,
and we saw His glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son,
full of grace and truth.
Using chalk, one of those present writes on the outside of your house, above or next to an entrance: 20+C+M+B+14. The first two and the last two digits are the numbers for the New Year. The letters C, M, and B, stand for ‘Christus Mansionem Benedicat,’ Latin for ‘May Christ bless this home.’ They also represent the initials of the wise men, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar.
All say: Lord God of heaven and earth,
You revealed Your only begotten Son to every nation
by the guidance of a star.
Bless this home and all who live here.
May we be graced with health, goodness,
forgiveness, and obedience to Your commandments.
Fill us with the light of Christ, that we may go out into the world
and share Your love with all.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The blessing concludes with everyone making the Sign of the Cross.