20+C+M+B+16 Each year at St Chrysostom’s we love to follow the Christian tradition of blessing homes at the start of the year. After all our homes are very special to us. They are places of rest, renewal, hospitality and safety. It is good to seek God’s blessing on them.
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. Each year the traditional custom is done a little differently. For example for 2015 see here,
This year the end of the Epiphany Mass small candles to take home were blessed. Everyone was encouraged to take one and light it while saying the prayers of blessing.
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 + 16 are made, or (20+K+M+B+16).
20 and 16 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.
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 at least one of the blessed candles is travelling – to South Wales, to bless a home there. 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.