At the beginning of a new year our thoughts and prayers understandably focus on the future. For many it is also a period of holiday and rest when we also think about our families and homes.
Very appropriately, then, the Church invites us to pray for our homes. We are invited to ask for God’s blessing upon them. The prayer can be, and often is, accompanied by an action. We praise God and seek God’s blessing, God’s grace, to be in our homes and on all who live and visit them.
How we bless our homes at this time of the year depends on our circumstances and our own personal wishes. At St Chrysostom’s we have encouraged the blessing of homes for many years. On the Feast of Epiphany we prayed that the Light of all lights may shine in our hearts and lives. Candles were blessed, as a sign of God’s Light, and people were invited to take a candle home, to light them and say a prayer of blessing.
This year at Epiphany this prayer for home blessing (adapted) was offered to worshippers:
Bless the four corners of this home, and be the lintel blest, and bless the hearth, and bless the board, and bless each place of rest, and bless the door that opens wide to friend as to kin, and bless each crystal window pane that lets the starlight in, and bless the roof-tree overhead and every sturdy wall. The peace of all, the peace of God, The Peace of Love on all.
This is the simple form. Fr Ian has also suggested doing this with a cup of tea or glass of wine. (Click here to read his suggestion!)
We were delighted that many took a candle home to pray in this way.
In addition each year chalk is also blessed so that those who wish to do a more traditional form of blessing can do so too. 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 + 20 are made, or (20+K+M+B+20).
20 and 20 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.
Here is a song to listen to, with music and church people singing, as a house blessing!
You can read more about blessing homes here on the blog: just click here.