Traditionally, the Catholic Church celebrates the Epiphany on Jan. 6. However, in the United States, the celebration has moved to the Sunday between Jan. 2 and Jan. 8.
The Solemnity of the Epiphany celebrates the revelation that Jesus was the Son of God as revealed to the Three Wise Men.
As Catholics, we believe that the Magi, guided by the star of Bethlehem, brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the Christ child.
There is a special liturgical living activity that can inspire us to invite Christ into our new year on the feast of the Epiphany known as the Epiphany house blessing.
As a bonus, families can enjoy a king cake following the housing blessing as another liturgical living activity for the feast of the Epiphany.
According to EWTN,
“In years past, priests would often visit their parishioners during the Christmas season to bless their homes. Since this is virtually impossible for most priests today, someone in the family–ideally the father or head of household–sprinkles holy water in each room of the house and says a blessing prayer.
Normally, the house blessing is coupled with the blessing of the doorway. Some churches will provide parishioners with blessed chalk after the Epiphany Masses. Otherwise, the faithful can bring chalk to their parish, asking the priest to bless it.”
How to Bless Your Home on the Feast of the Epiphany in 2024
On the feast of the Epiphany, many Catholics bless their homes by writing the letters C, M, and B and the numbers of the year on the top of their front door frame with chalk.
This year, the sequence is: 20 + C + M + B + 24
This combination of letters and numbers holds a special meaning.
The letters represent two different things. First, they stand for the names of the three wise men: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. Secondly, they also represent the Latin blessing Christus mansionem benedicat, which translates to “May Christ bless this house.”
The crosses between each figure signify our salvation through Christ.
The Epiphany House Blessing For 2024
Begin by gathering members of the household in front of the house and recite the following:
Priest/Leader: Peace be to this house.
All: And to all who dwell herein.
Leader: 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.
After these prayers are recited, journey throughout your home and sprinkle each room with holy water–you can get some from your parish.
Afterward, you may continue with the blessing:
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 Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead 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 unto Thee.
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.
Following the series of prayers, you can return to your front entryway and write the Epiphany blessing on your door frame.