A Blessing for Epiphany

It is custom in the Catholic Church to bless one's home on the Feast of the Epiphany and in the weeks following.  Family and friends gather to ask God's blessing on their homes and those who live in or visit the home.  It is an invitation for Jesus to be a daily guest in our homes, our comings and goings, our conversations, our work and play, our joys, and sorrows.

A traditional way of doing this is to use chalk blessed during the liturgy for the Feast of Epiphany and write the following above a home's entryway:


The letters C, M, B have two meanings.  They are the initials of the traditional tames of the three magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Blathazar.  They also abbreviate the Latin words Christus mansionem benedicat, "May Christ bless the house."  The plus (+) signs represent the cross and 2023 is the year.

Marking the doorway to one's home is rooted in the Old Testament.  Holy Scripture reminds us that God has at times commanded his people to mark their doors.  The Israelites marked their doors with the lamb's blood on the night of Passover (Exodus 12:7)  A similar command was given with the Shema Yisrael:

Hear, O Israel:
The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
And with all your soul, and with all your might.
Keep these words that I am commanding you today
In your heart...
And write them on the doorposts of your house
And on your gates.
(Deuteronomy 6:4-6,9)