Tag Archives: Blessing of Homes at Epiphany

Blessing of Chalk

In the Latin Church there is a pious custom, at least in the churches of the Slavic and Germanic lands, where the priest blesses chalk. We chalk each house (or the room where one resides) with the initials CMB (which stand for “Christus mansionem benedicat”, which also commemorates the 3 Magi), crosses (which are to scare the demons), and numbers (which signify the number of years that have passed since the original three kings came to Bethlehem).
 
The chalk is blessed, there is a special exorcism over the chalk. Done correctly, the house is incensed and sprinkled with holy water.
 
May the Magi intercede for us.

Blessing of Homes on Epiphany

C+M+BRead the Gospel narrative of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-9) from the Family Bible.

Using chalk blessed by the priest, write above the entry way:

20 + C +M + B + 10

Let us pray.

Peace be to this house and all who live here. During these days of the Christmas season, we keep this feast of Epiphany. Through the guidance of a star, the coming of Jesus was made known to the Gentiles. We celebrate Christ made known to the Magi, to John in the River Jordan, and to the disciples at the wedding at Cana.

Today Christ is made known to us! Today this home is a holy place! The Magi came from the east to Bethlehem to adore the Lord.  “They went into the house, and when they saw the child with His mother Mary, they knelt down and worshipped him.They brought out their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, and presented them to Him.” [Matthew 2:11]

Bow our heads and pray for God’s blessing . . .

Lord our God, bless our home and all who live here. May we be filled with health, goodness of heart, gentleness, obedience to Your law, and thanksgiving to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Help us love and respect one another and make your presence known by the way we care for others. May this blessing remain upon this house and upon all who live here. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

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The blessing of the home is an Epiphany custom. Chalk blessed by the priest on Epiphany is given to the faithful to mark their entrance door with the current year and with the inscription C+M+B, the initials of Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, the traditional names of the Magi (as above). In addition to remembering the Magi, the inscription means for the Latin phrase Christus Mansionem Benedicat, which means “Christ, bless this home.”

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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