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Catholic Prayer: Epiphany Home Blessing Ceremony

Description:

This is the home blessing ceremony based on the Roman Ritual that our family uses each year.

There is also a PDF form of this program.

Prayer:

The manger is decorated regally, containing the enthroned Christ Child. All gather around the manger while the visiting priest leads the prayers. If there is no priest present, the father of the family leads:

P: God’s peace be in this home, All: And in all who live here.

Antiphon P: The star burned like a flame, pointing the way to God, the King of kings; the wise men saw the sign and brought their gifts in homage to their great King.

Canticle: The Magnificat, Luke 1:46-55 All: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; for He has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations shall call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is His Name.

He has mercy on those who fear Him in every generation. He has shown the strength of His arm, He has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of His servant Israel for He has remembered His promise of mercy, the promise He made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit As it was in the beginning is now and will be forever. Amen.

All: The star burned like a flame, pointing the way to God, the King of kings; the wise men saw the sign and brought their gifts in homage to their great King.

P: Many shall come from Sheba.
All: Bearing gold and incense.
P: O Lord, hear my prayer.
All: And let my cry come unto Thee.
P:
Let us pray.
O God, who by the guidance of a star did this day reveal your Only Begotten Son to the Gentiles, grant that we who know You by faith may be brought to the contemplation of the heavenly majesty, through the same Christ, Our Lord.
All: Amen.

All: Be enlightened and shine forth, O Jerusalem, for thy light is come, and upon thee is risen the glory of the Lord, Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary.

P: Nations shall walk in your light, and kings in the brilliance of your rising.
All: And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.

HOUSE BLESSING
P: Let us pray. O Lord, Almighty God, bless this house + that it may become a shelter of health, chastity, self-conquest, humility, goodness, mildness, obedience to the commandments, and thanksgiving to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Upon this house and those who dwell herein may Your blessing remain forever, through Christ our Lord. All: Amen.

BLESSING OF CHALK (Optional)
P: Bless, + O Lord God, this creature, chalk, and let it be a help to mankind. Grant that those who will use it with faith in your most holy name, and with it inscribe on the doors of their homes the names of your saints, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, may through their merits and intercession enjoy health in body and protection of soul; through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.

The father of the family and the three “kings” take blessed chalk (one piece each) and proceed to the front door, accompanied by the priest. While all look on, the father reads the corresponding words as the kings inscribe their initials onto the lintel. (The initials CMB also stand for Christus mansionem benedicat: May Christ bless this house.)

Final inscription on lintel should read: 2 0 + C + M + B + 1 4:

“The three wise men, Caspar, [Caspar inscribes ‘C’ on lintel]    C
Melchior, [Melchior inscribes ‘M’]    M
and Balthasar [Balthasar inscribes ‘B’]    B
followed the star of God’s Son who became man two thousand [Dad inscribes the ‘2 0’ on left]    2 0
fourteen years ago. [Dad inscribes ‘1 4’ on right] 1 4
“May Christ bless our dwelling, [Dad places + after ‘2 0’]    +
and remain with us throughout the new year, [ + after ‘C’]    +
and grant that our comings and goings [ + after ‘M’]     +
will be in search of truth [ + after ‘B’]    +

Priest/Father: Almighty God, incline your ear. May you bless us and all who are gathered here.
Send your holy angel who will defend us
and fill with grace all who live here.
All: Amen.

The father and the “Three Kings” now accompany the priest as he blesses the house with holy water. Everyone sings: We Three Kings of Orient Are

We three Kings of Orient are;
bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain,
moor and mountain
following yonder star.

Refrain: O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.

Born a babe on Bethlehem’s plain,
Gold I bring to crown Him again
King forever, ceasing never
Over us all to reign. Refrain.

Frankincense to offer have I;
Incense owns a Deity nigh
Pray’r and praising,
all men raising,
Worship him God most high. Refrain.

Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom;
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb. Refrain.

Glorious now, behold Him arise,
King and God sacrifice!
Alleluia, Alleluia
Earth to Heav’n replies. Refrain.

Prayer Source: Original Text (JGM) by Jennifer Gregory Miller, © Copyright 2003-2014 by Jennifer Gregory Miller
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