On or before the Epiphany, January 6, family and friends gather at the main entrances to homes or apartments and ask God’s blessing on their dwellings and on all who live or visit there.
Peace be to this house and to all who enter here.
A reading from Proverbs.
By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. (Proverbs 24:3-4)
Let us pray.
Gracious God, as a shining star once guided the magi to the birthplace of the infant Jesus, so enable those who dwell here to be your light in the world; through Jesus Christ we pray.
Using chalk, inscribe the horizontal frame above the door with the inscription shown below. The letters C M B come from the traditional (9th century) names for the “three kings”–Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. Some also suggest “Christus Mansionem Benedicat,” which means “May Christ bless this dwelling.” The numbers stand for the year 2018.
Each person receives a turn to make one or more of the marks:
20 + C + M + B + 18
A reading from Isaiah.
And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. (Isaiah 32:17-18).
People may join hands or extend their hands outward and upward (orans) for the prayers.
Let us pray.
Sovereign God, we pray that you will bless this home and all who live here with your gracious presence, that your love may be our inspiration, your wisdom our guide, your truth our light, and your peace our benediction; through Jesus Christ we pray.
Lord, remember your children and teach us to pray:
People may make the sign of the cross in remembrance of their baptism.
The Lord will keep our going out and our coming in from this time forth and forevermore. (Psalm 121:8)
Scripture from the English Standard Version.