The blessing of homes at Epiphany is a time-honored Catholic tradition. We remember the visit of the Magi to the home of Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus in Bethlehem.
When my husband and I moved to our parish 25 years ago, we had several priests, and it was customary for the priests to visit each home in the parish and bless it on the Sunday nearest Epiphany. Once this became impractical due to a growing parish size and a shrinking number of priests, the Secular Franciscans decided to encourage families to continue the tradition of blessing their homes on their own–and to give them the tools to do so.
Each Advent we make several hundred Home Blessing Kits. These contain a prayer, some blessed chalk and a small vial of holy water. We place baskets of these kits near the entrance to the church and encourage each family to take one home. No matter how many kits we assemble each year, it seems that there are never enough!
You and your family can bless your home together using the prayer that our parish uses.
Home Blessing Prayer
LEADER: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
LEADER: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling place among us. It is Jesus who enlightens our hearts and homes with his love. It is Jesus who is our source of hope, joy and comfort. May all who enter this home find the light and love of Jesus Christ. Let us listen to the word of God:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling place among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory of an only Son coming from the Father, filled with enduring love.
ALL: Our Father, who art in Heaven…
LEADER: Lord God of heaven and earth, you revealed your only son to every nation by the guidance of a star. Bless this house and all who live here. May the light of Jesus shine from this house so that others may find their way to your light and your love. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
We sprinkle holy water in each room of the home.
We conclude by using the blessed chalk to mark, above the doorway, the initials of the three Magi, surrounded by the numbers of the current year and separated by small crosses: 20+K+M+B+16
Have you ever blessed your home at Epiphany?
Copyright 2016 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS
Photos copyright 2016 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS. All rights reserved.