Friday, January 9, 2015

The Epiphany Blessing

Father Gronenthal, a priest friend of long-standing and one of our parish cornerstones, was able to come over to our house last night and do the Epiphany Blessing of the Home.  Most years, our option has been for Dan to do it -- which has always been fine...  But having Father over with all the official sacramentals -- and the proper and beautiful prayers of the Church in Latin (followed by his re-reading in English) prayed by a good priest, who is also a friend...  Well, we feel as if our house is triply blessed!
Here's the text of the prayers of the Epiphany Blessing in English:

Priest/Father:
Peace be to this house.
All:
And to all who dwell herein.
Priest:
From the east came the Magi to Bethlehem to adore the Lord; and opening their treasures they offered precious gifts: gold for the great King, incense for the true God, and myrrh in symbol of His burial.
During the Magnificat, the room is sprinkled with holy water and incensed.
All:
My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior. For He hath regarded the humility of His handmaiden. For behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For He that is mighty hath done great things to me, and holy is His Name. And His Mercy is from generation unto generations upon them that fear Him. He hath shewed might in His arm, He hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He hath sent empty away. He hath received Israel, His servant, being mindful of His mercy. As He spoke to our Fathers, Abraham and His seed forever.

In the small round containter, Father brought real frankincense and myrrh to burn
in the thurible!  It smelled amazing!  Very exotic.


Dominic was home and acted as thurifer for Father.

After this is completed:
All:
From the east came the Magi to Bethlehem to adore the Lord; and opening their treasures they offered precious gifts: gold for the great King, incense for the true God, and myrrh in symbol of His burial.
Priest:
Our Father Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and  forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead and lead us not into temptation,
All:
But deliver us from evil.
Priest:
All they from Saba shall come
All:
Bringing gold and frankincense.
Priest:
O Lord, hear my prayer.
All:
And let my cry come unto Thee.
Priest:
Let us pray. O God, who by the guidance of a star didst on this day manifest Thine only-begotten Son to the Gentiles, mercifully grant that we who know Thee by faith may also attain the vision of Thy glorious majesty. Through Christ our Lord.
All:
Amen.
Priest:
Be enlightened, be enlightened, O Jerusalem, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee-- Jesus Christ born of the Virgin Mary.
All:
And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light and kings in the splendor of thy rising, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon thee.
Priest:
Let us pray. Bless, O Lord God almighty, this home, that in it there may be health, purity, the strength of victory, humility, goodness and mercy, the fulfillment of Thy law, the thanksgiving to God the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. And may this blessing remain upon this home and upon all who dwell herein. Through Christ our Lord.
All:
Amen.
After the prayers of the blessing are recited, walk through the house and bless each room by sprinkling with Epiphany water and incensing it. 
Father "incensed"  all the rooms of our home with the frankincense and myrrh, starting here in the living room.
 Taking the blessed chalk, Father first wrote the initials of the three Wise Men, connected with Crosses, over the inside of our front door (on the lintel, if possible). Then he wrote the year, breaking up the numbers and the year so that they fall on both sides like so:


20  C+M+B  15

with the "20 "being the millennium and century, the "C" standing for the first Wise Man, Caspar, the "M" standing for Melchior, the "B" standing for Balthasar, and the "15" standing for the decade and year. It is also popularly believed that the Kings' initials may also stand for "Christus mansionem benedicat" ("Christ bless this house").

Then he added the initials of the Three Kings, interspersed with the digits of the year.
You can see here that he had a rather awkward angle to reach the lintel of our front
door, as our jigsaw puzzle table happens to be in front of this door for the duration
of the winter...  But Father is a good sport.  After he climbed down, he laughed and
said, "That piece you'll be missing when you finish the puzzle, will probably be on
the bottom of my shoe."  (gglggl)

Here he is adding the same emblem of the Kings over the chief entrance of our home, coming
into the kitchen from the mudroom.  (A little easier reach here!)

And finally, incensing and blessing (with holy water) the Summer Kitchen.

Next, he added the King's emblem above the lintel of the  Summer Kitchen.
See the close-up below.  The white chalk shows up best against the grey cedar!
(I don't think he noticed he was standing right under the mistletoe -- and we didn't
dare say anything about it.  ;) I expect the Blessed Mother kissed the top of the
head of this good and faithful servant, though.  I can just imagine that she would!
After the blessing, we sat down to a nice visit and a good dinner of stuffed cabbage with Father.  A wonderful time was had by all!  And the devils are most likely having fits.  No way they're getting in this house with all the blessings it's gotten in the last couple of months!  Many thanks to Fr. Gronenthal for coming so far out of his way to do the Epiphany Blessing for us!  (It's an hour's drive from the Church to our house...)  And to Fr. Borja, as well, for the blessing he did a couple months ago.  We are truly and well blessed!


No comments: