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Catholic Prayer: Epiphany Blessing

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"It is unfortunate today, that homes are often not blessed. This may be accounted for in part by our modern mobility and lack of home ownership. But it is also due in some measure to carelessness and neglect on the part of the faithful. It is probably also due to the large size of many parishes and the preoccupations of the clergy, particularly at the time of such feasts of the Church as Epiphany and Easter." --Rev. Schmiedeler.

Let us revive this Epiphany tradition, which is a practice appreciated by children and adults alike.

Prayer:

With chalk, especially blessed for the occasion, the priest writes the following legend at the top of the door of the house: 19 + C + M + B + 52. The three letters stand for the three kings who were traditionally known as Caspar, Melchoir, and Baltassar. The numbers, of course, indicate the year in which the blessing was given. Incense is used in this blessing, presumably in remembrance of the incense offered by the Three Kings.

In religious houses the legend is written over the door of every room. Like the other blessings of homes, this one is meant to invoke protection over the mind and body of those who dwell within. In this instance the priest prays:

"Bless, O Lord, Almighty God, this home, that in it there may be health, chastity, strength of victory, humility, goodness, and industry, a fullness of law and the action of graces through God the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and that this blessing may remain on this home and on those who frequent it. Through Christ our Lord. Amen."

Prayer Source: Your Home, A Church in Miniature by Compiled by The Family Life Bureau in the early 1950s, The Neumann Press, Long Prairie, Minnesota, 1994
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