Blessing homes 20 + C + M + B + 15

20+C+M+B+15 At St Chrysostom’s we love to follow the Christian tradition of blessing homes at the start of the year.

We celebrate the Wise Men (the Magi) coming to the home of Jesus, Mary and Joseph at EPIPHANY. We pray for God’s blessing on our homes.

Ethiopian Crosses ready to be blessed and taken to homes

Ethiopian Crosses ready to be blessed and taken to homes

This year we’ve an extra blessing too. At the end of the Epiphany Mass Ethiopian crosses were blessed. The crosses are a gift from Abate who worships with us and comes from Ethiopia. Returning from a recent visit to his home town of Goba in southern Ethiopia he brought crosses as gifts to church members. People took a cross home to hang as a sign of blessing, and say a prayer for blessing of their home. Crosses were also set aside for the housebound. We want to extend the blessings and so during the days of January a leaflet with a prayer for blessing of a home will be distributed around the homes of our parish.

Chalk too was blessed at Mass for those who like to follow the tradition of marking the door with chalk.

The chalk is used in this way: Using chalk either above the door, outside, or at the side of the door, outside or inside, the markings

20 + C + M + B + 15 are made, or (20+K+M+B+15).

20 and 15 being the year, C (K), M, B being the initials of the traditional names of the wise men, Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, they can also stand for Christus Mansionem Benedicat, the Latin words meaning, May Christ bless this home.

20CMB15

 Or you may instead make a simple cross mark with chalk +

 

These prayers are used in our parish at a blessing of a home:

God of heaven and earth, you revealed your only Son to every nation by the guidance of a star. Bless this home and all who live in it. Fill us with the light of Christ, that our concern for others may reflect your love. We ask this through Christ who dwells among us. Amen.

Loving God, visit this home and bless it. May there be no evil here. Let your holy angels dwell here and keep all who live here in peace. May you bless us, and all whom we love, today and for evermore.    Amen.

We are delighted that in previous years this custom has also spread and our blessed chalk has been used away from Manchester too and so encouraged the tradition to grow. Where did it get to? See, for example, here and here. 

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About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community where people of differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2364267899/
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One Response to Blessing homes 20 + C + M + B + 15

  1. banzaibeagle says:

    Thank you for the St Chrysostom Day home blessing prayers! We have been putting 20+c+m+b+xx over our front door since a group of children first did it to our home in Weselberg, Germany in 1997. There, the village children dress up like the Magi on Three Kings Day (Epiphany) and one of them dangles a star on the end of a pole to lead the group around the village searching for the Christ child. They ask if the Christ child is at each home, with a ritual query and response from the home owner, sing carols and accept donations of money dropped into a coffee can, and write the blessing over your door (even if you don’t contribute). We were so enamored with the custom that we carried it on when we returned to the US, first to Alamogordo, New Mexico and now to Woodburn, Oregon. We also painted the symbol over the lintel on a house we built in the seaside town of Lincoln City. Our grandchildren have picked it up. We will incorporate your home blessing into the ceremony this year. Oh, the group of German children who follow the star dressed as the Wise Men are called Sternsingern or “Star Singers.” Blessings, Dave Beatty, Woodburn, Oregon, USA

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