|Epiphany! This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. The feast marks the end of the Christmas season. Traditionally, Epiphany was observed on the January 6 and is a feast of the Church older than Christmas. Since 1970, the celebration is held in some countries on the Sunday after January 1; more specifically, the Sunday that falls between January 2 and January 8.
Early Christians celebrated Epiphany as all the manifestations of the divinity of Jesus that occurred before his public ministry: his birth (with the visit of the Magi), the presentation in the Temple, the finding in the Temple, his baptism in the Jordan, and the miracle at Cana. During the reign of Emperor Constantine, the Western Church began celebrating the birth of Christ on December 25 and Epiphany became a lesser holiday in the Western Church. Now, the feast of Epiphany is primarily about the manifestation of the visit of the Magi.
We invite you to take part in the popular Epiphany custom of the blessing of the house, also known as “chalking the door.” The blessing ritual is presented below.
Epiphany House Blessing
All: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Leader: Peace be to this house and to all who dwell here, in the name of the Lord.
All: Thanks be to God.
Leader: When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, Magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.” After their audience with the king, they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary, his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way. The Word of the Lord.
All: Thanks be to God.
Using chalk, the Leader or any other family member, writes on the outside of your house or inside above the front main entrance or next to an entrance:
C + M + B + 2024,
Leader: May Christ bless this house. Amen
Leader: Asking for God’s blessing we pray:
All: 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 us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen. Let us pray:
All: Lord God of heaven and earth, you revealed your only begotten Son to every nation by the guidance of a star. Bless this house and all who live here and all who visit. May we be blessed with health, kindness of heart, gentleness, and the keeping of your law. Fill us with the light of Christ that our love for each other may go out to all. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.