Then Herod, privately calling the wise men learned diligently of them the time of the star which appeared to them…who having heard the king, went their way; and behold the star which they had seen in the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was. And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him; and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh. – Matthew 2:7,9-11
Today January 6th is the feast of Epiphany. This feast follows 12th Night (as in the 12 days of Christmas) and commemorates the visit of the magi or kings to the Baby Jesus.
The word epiphany comes a Greek root that means to show, display or manifest to others.
The three kings came from the east (most likely pagan Persia) to honor the child Jesus. This is considered a sign, i.e. manifestation, that Jesus was the king not only of the Jews but of the entire world.
The feast is celebrated on the Sunday after January 1st in the U.S. So I did my Epiphany house blessing in Sunday but decided to repeat it today on the traditional date.
About the Blessing
The blessing may be done by a priest or the head of the household. Taking a piece of blessed chalk the phrase 20 + C + M + B + 22 (for this year 2022) is written above or on the upper part of the main door.
The letters represent the traditional initials of the three kings (Caspar, Malchior, and Balthazar) as well as the Latin phrase, Christus mansionem benedicat or “May Christ bless the house.”
The “+” signs represent the cross, and the “20” at the beginning and “22” represent the year. In other words the blessing is a request for Christ to bless our homes and be with us through the year.
You can do your house blessing following the info in the booklet pictured here, adding Christus mansionem benedicat if you wish, as I did.