Matthew writes that when the wise men saw the shining star stop overhead, they were filled with joy. “On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother” (2:10-11). In the home, Christ is met in family and friends, in visitors and strangers. In the home, faith is shared, nurtured, and put into action. In the home, Christ is welcome. Whether you live alone or with others, you may invite friends and other family members to gather for this blessing followed by refreshments or a festive meal. Someone may lead with the greeting and blessing while someone else may read the text from scripture. In eastern European countries, Christians add a visual blessing on or over the main door. It is written with white chalk; for example, 20+C+M+B+21. The numbers change with each new year. The three letters stand for either the ancient Latin blessing Christe mansionem benedica, which means, “Christ, bless this house,” or the legendary names of the Magi (Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar).
May peace be to this house and all who enter here. By wisdom a house is built and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. Proverbs 24:3-4
As we prepare to ask God’s blessing on this household, let us listen to the words of scripture.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. —John 1:1-4, 14, 16
This inscription may be made with chalk above the entrance:
20 + C M B + 21
The magi of old, known as
Caspar, (write C)
Melchior, (write M) and
Balthasar (write B)
followed the star of God’s Son who came to dwell among us
Two thousand (write 20)
and twenty-one years ago. (write 21)
Christ, bless this house, (write first cross)
and remain with us throughout the new year. (write second cross)
Prayer of Blessing
O God, you revealed your Son to all people by the shining light of a star. We pray that you bless this home and all who live here with your gracious presence. May your love be our inspiration, your wisdom our guide, your truth our light, and your peace our benediction; through Christ our Lord. Amen
From Sundays & Seasons, © 2021 Augsburg Fortress.