Christian festivals in our house – Epiphany

So Epiphany was yesterday, so in our house this happened. I some homes it is done very beautifully, but we let our 3 year old (helped by daddy) have the chalk. (I think Jesus smiled):

Christmas finishes with Epiphany (6th January) – when the three kings visit Jesus. An age old tradition at this time is to bless your household by chalking the door. (Via www.reflectionary.org/2021/01/01/chalking-the-doorway-a-house-blessing-for-epiphany/) If you would like to do this, here is how…

Chalking the Doorway….

….is a visible symbol of God’s presence, peace and blessing.
Gather your household at the main door of your home and take turns reading the short passage from Matthew (below) and writing these letters in chalk either above the door, down the sides, or on the doorstep.

20 + C + M + B + 21
Finish with some short prayers and a final blessing – written out below.

What does it mean?

The 20 and 21 are the current year (so change it to 22 or 23 etc in future years).

The crosses remind us of Jesus and of the star that guided the Wise Men to him.

The letters C, M and B are for their traditional names (Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar), but can also stand for ‘Christus Mansionem Benedicat’, which is Latin for ‘May Christ bless this house.’ Or if Latin is not your bag, how about thinking ‘Christ, My Blessing’ each time you pass underneath?

Write the letters first, spaced out, then the numbers, and finally add the crosses.

Reading
Read this short gospel passage about the visit of the Wise Men, and imagine them coming to your home, just as they visited Mary, Joseph and the young Jesus. We hope that they would find Christ living in our homes too.

Matthew 2:1-2, 9-11
Wise Men Visit the Messiah

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Wise Men from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him. … The star that they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced greatly. Going into the house they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they fell down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”

Chalking:

One person reads out these words slowly, with pauses for different people to write these symbols either above the door, down the sides or on the doorstep:

20 + C + M + B + 21
The Three Wise Men: Caspar [pause while someone writes C], Melchior [write M], and Balthasar [B], followed the star to find the Christ child two thousand [20] and twenty-one [21] years ago. May Christ [+] bless [+] our [+] home [+].
All: Amen.

Prauers

Peace be upon this house (school/church/etc), and upon all who enter here.
All: Amen.

May all who enter our home rejoice to find Christ living here.
All: Amen.

Lord Jesus, may we be like the star that guided the Wise Men to you, shining the light of your love to others.
All: Amen.

Blessing

The Lord bless us and keep us;
the Lord make his face shine upon us
and be gracious to us;
the Lord turn his face toward us
and give us peace.
All: Amen.

(Numbers 6:24-26)

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