20+C+M+B+16

It is (approximately) Epiphany, so it’s time for the annual house blessing.  Part of the blessing involves using already blessed chalk to write the first two digits of the year (20), followed by the letter C, M, B, and the last two digits of the year (16).  The letters stand either for the names of the three magi (Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar) or Christus mansionem benedicat (“May Christ bless the house”).

The first year we were here, we invited the Nuncio for lunch on Epiphany and asked him to bless the house for us.  He did, but didn’t use the book of blessings.  I chalked the lintels afterwards.

Last year, I was getting ready to go to Colorado for vacation in the hopes that they would lift the evacuation so we could fly back together (which actually worked out, but not entirely according to plan).  I did a very simple blessing, similar to the one found here, on Carmelites.net.

This year, the parish priest has promised that either he or one of the other Salesians will come sometime this week, but that they are a little pressed for time because they are preparing for the new Provincial to pay his first visit.  I do hope at least one of them can make it, but if not, I’ll do the blessing next Sunday.

A couple of other variations on the blessing are at Catholic Culture, and, of course, the Conference of Bishops.

I like the tradition, because it wraps up Christmas and the start of the new year with a reminder that Christ came to live among us, and wants to be present in our homes.  It’s just up to us to make our homes welcoming to him by living according to his teachings.  As the blessing states, “Fill us with the light of Christ, that our concern for others may reflect your love.”

Happy Epiphany to you all.

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