Blessing of The Three Kings for the Home
Epiphany Blessing of Homes – Short History
There is an ancient Catholic custom of the blessing of homes on or after the Feast of the Epiphany. It is said that the early Christians who attended Holy Mass in the Catacombs of Rome, Italy were given instructions on how to bless their homes using Blessed Chalk and Holy Water for the rooms. In order to invoke the blessing of The Three Kings, whose entrance into the home of the Holy Family we commemorate on the Feast of the Epiphany, their initials are inscribed, either by a priest or by the head of the household. This is done on the inside, middle of the top of the doors leading to the outside. Incense can also be burned in remembrance of the incense offered by The Three Kings.
[Adapted from John of Hildesheim’s book, The Story of The Three Kings, 14th Century.]
In the absence of a priest, the family gathers around the Nativity scene with a lighted candle and recites the following prayers:
All: A Child is born in Bethlehem, alleluia!
Full joyous sings Jerusalem, alleluia!
From the Orient, behold the Star, alleluia!
And Three holy Kings come from afar, alleluia!
All: From the East came The Three Kings to Bethlehem to adore the Lord, and opening their treasures, they offered costly gifts:
Gold – shows the power of a king for it has to do with tribute;
Frankincense – shows Divine majesty and pertains to sacrifice;
Myrrh – pertains to mortality and burial.
The father/head of the household can now sprinkle Blessed Epiphany Water or Holy Water in each room of the house.
Afterwards, with the Blessed Chalk from the priest, mark the lintels above all the doors that go to the outside with the initials of The Three Kings (separated by crosses and the year) in this manner:
20 + C + M + B + 22
C for Gaspar, King of Tharsis,
M for Melchior, King of Nubia & Arabia,
B for Balthasar, King of Saba.
In conclusion, the father/head of the household then prays:
Let us pray,
O Lord God, through the power of the priest, Thou didst bless the chalk to make it helpful to man. Grant that we who use it with faith and inscribe with it the names of Thy Saints Melchior, Balthasar, and Gaspar upon the entrance of our home, may through their merits and petition enjoy physical health, spiritual protection, and protection from storms and adversity of every kind.
Through Christ our Lord.
Note: The St. Vincent Ferrer Foundation also provides another variation of the Epiphany Home Blessing in a format that can be downloaded and printed on one standard 8.5″ x 11″ sheet – LINKED HERE.