by Christine Sine
We have all spent more time in our houses in 2020 than ever before. We have learned to appreciate our homes in ways that we never have before so this year I think is a very good time to take the traditional house blessing of epiphany very seriously, so I have decided to repost this from a couple of years ago. As I pray the prayer today I also find myself praying for those for whom home is not safe because of abuse and violence, and for those who have no home or live on the brink of losing their homes because of economic insecurity or natural disaster. As you pray this prayer I encourage you to pray for these neighbours too.
You may also like to check out my epiphany prayer and litany for the season.
Either on Twelfth Night (January 5), the twelfth day of Christmastide and eve of the feast of the Epiphany, or on Epiphany Day (January 6) itself, many Christians in Europe chalk their doors with a pattern such as this, “20 † C † M † B † 21”. The numbers refer to the calendar year (20 and 21, for this year); the crosses stand for Christ; and the letters have a two-fold significance: C, M and B are the initials for the traditional names of the Magi (Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar), as well as an abbreviation of the Latin blessing Christus mansionem benedicat, which means, May Christ bless this house. Taken together, this inscription is performed as a request for Christ to bless our homes and stay with those who dwell in them throughout the entire year. I first saw this practice on our recent trip to Germany and I thought this was a cool thing to do each year. We were there in July but the chalk marks were still above the doors.
The chalking of the doors is a centuries-old practice throughout the world, though less well-known in the United Sates. It is, however, an easy tradition to adopt, and a great practice for dedicating our year to God and asking for our Creator’s blessing on our homes and on all who live, work, or visit them. The prayer above is adapted from a house blessing I was invited to several years ago. It in turn was adapted from a longer prayer in Celtic Daily Prayer which you might want to use for your own house blessing. You can find another great blessing practice here or might like to use the house blessing in The
We did a house blessing after we remodeled our house a couple of years ago and had people write words of blessing on some of the left over remnants of tiles that we put in our kitchen. I still have them in a bowl and occasionally look through them to remind myself of the blessings that friends bestowed on us. However I love the idea of doing this on a yearly basis.
I also love the way Jan Richardson talks about this and her suggestion to think of your house as a new year in her poem: The Year As A House: A Blessing.
Think of the year
as a house:
door flung wide
a graced spaciousness
opening and offering itself
She also does wonderful art which is perfect for reflection as you can see on this free downloadable Women’s Christmas Retreat Day. This year (2022) the focus is on solace. I know it is already after Christmas but this is something worth downloading and setting aside time to use.
I love your 1st poem because you used :love, joy and peace. And “light for day & rest for night.” I have written a chapter in my book: “By the Living Word of God I Shall Prevail” (rhema truths )one about light. One about rest based on Hebrews 4 v 9-12.& Matthew 11 vs 28-30.
:guide” :Guide me O Great Jehovah: Bread of heaven: Feed me till I want no more…”
And my favorite verse in all my knowledge of perhaps 500 of them in my subconscious music library that the Holy Spirit can put one in my conscious mind like the ones stated above.:
The 3rd verse of “Great is Thy faithfulness:” “Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, Thine own dear presence to cheer and to GUIDE. Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. Blessings are mine..( to numerous to count)
Thank you for sharing these blessing prayers and for the tradition of chalking the door.
You are welcome. We are going to chalk our door tomorrow. It is a very enriching practice
I love the blog and this is going to help the journey I’m on! What do you think of the manifesting the 10 signs from the universe? In this time especially it has helped me feel the vibrations. I’d love know what you think, I’ve left the link here:
I will let you kn0w when I get time to look at this
Thank you so much for sharing. I am hoping I might get your permission to use this prayer to chalk the doors of our church this year. I am hoping to do this on Facebook Live, to share with the members of the church, as we are not gathering for worship at the present time. I would certainly give you and godspacelight.com credit for this. Thank you for considering this.
Traci feel free. I share this in the hope that households will chalk their doors and their churches. This post has had over 1,000 Facebook likes and almost as many shares since I posted it. It shows me that people need this type of ritual to anchor their days and their year. Blessings.