Thursday, January 06, 2011

Christus Mansionem Benedicat!

The Blessing of the Entrance to the House

At the Mass for the Day, the faithful are given chalk that has been blessed by the priest, as well as special holy water known as "Epiphany water." The blessing for it, which takes place only for this occasion, includes a prayer of exorcism. The blessed chalk and the holy water are then taken home, to be used that evening.

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We begin with the Sign of the Cross, and the words of Psalm 71(72) "Deus, judicium":

Give the King your justice, O God, *
    and your righteousness to the King's Son;
That he may rule your people righteously *
    and the poor with justice ...

Then one who is the Officiant says the prayer of blessing, while sprinkling holy water over the door.

Lord God of Heaven and Earth, who hast revealed thine 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 love for others may truly reflect thy love. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

If necessary, the Officiant or another steps up onto a chair or stepladder, and with a piece of blessed chalk, writes over the entrance to the house.

“Christus ...”


“Mansionem ...”

          C      M


          C      M      B

“May Christ ...”

20      C      M      B

“this dwelling ... bless.”

20      C      M      B      11

“In the name of God, the Father ...”

20  +  C      M      B      11

“the Son ...”

20  +  C  +  M      B      11

“... and the Holy Spirit.”

20  +  C  +  M  +  B      11

Everyone responds.


20  +  C  +  M  +  B  +  11

Thus ends the blessing. The inscription is to be removed on the Feast of Pentecost.

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Meanwhile, the day is remembered throughout the world by various names. In many parts of Europe, Epiphany retains its distinction as "Little Christmas." Among the Greek Orthodox, the waters of the harbor are blessed by the local priest. In Spanish-speaking countries, it is known as “Dia de los Tres Reyes” (“Day of the Three Kings”). There are parades on the main street, and pageants for the children. An example of the latter is seen here, performed by Iglesia Smirna Misionera, an Assembly of God congregation in Waterbury, Connecticut.

Oh, come on, you guys, click on it. These kids worked SO hard on this.

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