Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Epiphany Home Blessing Kits


"Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage."  ~Matthew 2:2

After Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, the Holy Family was visited by three Magi from the east. They came to worship Christ and bring him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  The Feast of Epiphany is celebrated on the 12th Day of Christmas, January 6th, but in the United States is moved to the Sunday between January 2nd-8th.  On Epiphany, it is traditional for families to bless their homes, remembering the hospitality of the Holy Family to the Wise Men and asking for protection and blessing on the home and all who enter.

The home blessing is done by writing on the door or door frame with chalk the symbols 20+C+M+B+18. The 20 and 18 represent the current year. The + reminds us of the cross on which our Savior died. The C, M, and B stand for the traditional names of the Wise Men, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, as well as an abbreviation for the Latin phrase “Christus mansionem benedicat” which means “Christ bless this house.” Writing on the door also brings to mind the Passover of the Jews during the final plague in Exodus, when the blood of the lamb protected the inhabitants within.



This year I wanted to send some resources home with my students and CCD families to help them celebrate this Epiphany Home Blessing Tradition.  Knowing that writing on the door or doorframe might not work in every house (or be every parent's favorite thing), I made these little signs that can hang over or near the door.  They are about 8" x 3.5" and are just made with scrap wood from my parents' barn.  I drilled holes in each corner, painted them with some left over chalkboard paint, and tied on some twine.

I added a small piece of white chalk and a booklet (printable below) explaining this Epiphany tradition, a short blessing prayer, and a few suggested Scripture passages and songs.  I packaged it all in a brown paper bag with the top folded down to form a "roof" and stapled on these cute tags (printable below).


If you'd like to share this tradition with your students, but don't have spare lumber, paint, and twine (or time...), you could easily send home your students with a kit including a black piece of cardstock, chalk, and the traditions booklet.  Or make it even easier and just tape the chalk right to the booklet and pass them out.  This would be a great way to share them out Mass- put a stack with the bulletins and then anyone who wants to can take one home.

“In the magi, representatives of the neighboring pagan religions, the Gospel sees the first-fruits of the nations, who welcome the good news of salvation through the Incarnation. The magi's coming to Jerusalem in order to pay homage to the king of the Jews shows that they seek in Israel, in the messianic light of the star of David, the one who will be king of the nations." ~CCC 528

Click here for the Epiphany Tradition Booklet:

Click on any of the images below for the three different tags:




8 comments:

  1. This is fantastic! My husband and I hold a 12th Day of Christmas party almost every year. I like to give small gifts, and this would be wonderful. Our party is Saturday; I hope I have time! LOL

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    1. So fun! Love that you host a 12th Day of Christmas Party! :)

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  2. Thank you again, Katie! I have used another sheet to explain the tradition for many years and it's so nice to have a fresh sheet. My sheet is so old, it has whiteout built up on the last 2 numbers to update for each year. LOL I appreciate your generosity in sharing this tradition and your beautifully designed sheets with us!

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    1. You are very welcome! Hopefully I remember to come back each year and update the dates! If not, the info still works! ;)

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  3. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing! I printed it out right away and plan on doing this with my family!

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  4. Great idea! I did a Hungarian version of the home blessing booklet, and kids loved to paint their own chalkboard. Check my blog: http://hid-tan.kreativcuccok.hu/2018/01/09/tabla-lakasszentelesre/
    Janka from Hungary :-)

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    1. Awesome, Janka! Wishing you a blessed New Year!

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