NEW YEAR HOUSE BLESSING TRADITION
The Epiphany house blessing traditions that were brought here by our Eastern European ancestors have been mostly forgotten. However, house blessings are still very relevant in our current times. Pope Francis speaks much about “domestic churches”…our homes where we live out our faith in concrete ways each day (not just set aside for church on Sunday). The house blessing can be
a way to practice this concept. The blessing is usually performed by family members who recite a prayer, sprinkle holy water, light incense and chalk the home’s entrance doorposts with the inscription “20+C+M+B+24.” What looks like a math equation are actually symbols that remind us of our dedication to God in everyday life. The symbols also remind us to be welcoming to all those who enter our homes throughout the year. The numbers 20 and 24 refer to the year of the blessing. The letters are abbreviations of the Latin words, “Christus mansionen benedicat” which means, “May Christ bless this house”. The same letters also refer to the Three Kings: Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar. The + signs represent the cross. We invite you and your families to participate in this meaningful tradition. It provides another opportunity for families to pray together as a domestic church…just as the early Christians did. We have updated the house blessing kits that are available in the Gift Shop. The kit includes chalk, an incense stick, a small bottle of holy water, and a house blessing prayer. Suggested donation to cover the cost of supplies is $2.00.