It is a powerful blessing that lasts the whole year.
Each year around the feast of the Epiphany many parishes throughout the world participate in an annual blessing of chalk. It is an ancient tradition that not only places God at the entrance of our home, it places our entire family under his protection.
The Epiphany blessing of chalk and homes is a centuries old tradition where priests would visit each home in their parish after the Feast of the Epiphany. Over time it became more difficult to accomplish such a feat as parishes became larger and larger and priests were stretched thin. For this reason it became an accepted tradition that a member of the household is able to lead this blessing in place of the priest.
On Sunday, 5th January, the Feast of the Epiphany, after the 9:30 and 11:00 Mass I will bless chalk and distribute it, so the head of each household can follow the tradition of blessing the home by marking the door lintel or the riser on the top front step with: "20 † C † M † B † 20". Epiphany water that will be blessed on the Epiphany Sunday will also be available to take home with the chalk for the house blessing, and the faithful are encouraged to use the Epiphany water for sprinkling the house or apartment, and for blessing the family and the sick throughout the year.
This simple prayer may be prayed while chalking the 20 C + M + B 19:
“MAY ALL WHO COME TO OUR HOUSE THIS YEAR REJOICE TO FIND JESUS LIVING AMONG US, AND MAY WE SEEK AND SERVE CHRIST IN EVERYONE WE MEET! AMEN.”
or this longer prayer may be used [click here]
If any parishioner or family from the parish of the Sacred Heart and Saint Margaret's wants the priest to bless their house or flat, please make an appointment with Father Tadeusz, parish priest. I will be more than happy to come and bless your houses.
The blessing has biblical roots,
deeply tied to the Passover in the book of Exodus.
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt … “take some of the blood [of the lamb], and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat them. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it … The blood shall be a sign for you, upon the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall fall upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.” (cf. Exodus 12:1-13)
It is no coincidence that the Epiphany blessing is traditionally written on the lintel of the main doorway and even some of the prayers echo God’s words of protection that he gave to Moses. While the Epiphany blessing was not given in the same manner as it was to Moses, the Church provides it for our own spiritual benefit. The Church desires our salvation and so gives us beautiful sacramentals to assist us along the path to Eternal Life.