It is an ancient custom to bless homes on Epiphany. The current year and the initials of the legendary names of the Magi [Caspar, Melchior, Balthazaar] are marked above the doorway with chalk; crosses are placed between the initials and year (eg. 20 + C + M + B + 06). Another explanation of C-M-B is: Christus mansionem benedicat, (May Christ bless this dwelling place.)
After the blessing, all may go from room to room, sprinkling water – a sign of the River Jordan and the Sacrament of Baptism. It is also appropriate to sing a carol, perhaps “We Three Kings”, as the home is sprinkled.
It is fitting to bless the home before a meal. While it is most fitting to annually bless the home on the Feast of the Epiphany, the blessing is equally as valid on any of the remaining 364 days of the year.
All gather at the entrance of the house.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Let us listen to the words of the holy gospel according to Luke.
Someone reads Luke 19:1-9
Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.
The Word of the Lord
Lord God of heaven and earth, you revealed your only-begotten Son to every nation by the guidance of a star. Bless this house and all who inhabit it. Fill them with the light of Christ, that their concern for others may reflect your love. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Someone then inscribes
20 + C + M + B + 06
above the doorway with chalk,
as the leader says:
May all who come to our home this year rejoice to find Christ living among us; and may we seek and serve, in everyone we meet, that same Jesus who is Lord for ever and ever.
All then move through the house, sprinkling and singing.