...was blessed and distributed at Mass today. The Wise men had arrived at the Nativity scene, and the small basket of chalk sticks was placed in front of it, the sticks then being blessed and distributed to us all, along with a prayer to use in blessing our homes.
J. and I first discovered this practice in the Tyrol, and loved it. We have for some years had the traditional blessing and chalked up the initials C+M+B and the new date above the front door. So this evening J. read a psalm from Vespers and I did the New Testament reading - from today's Gospel about the Wise Men - and then we went out into the drizzle, and J. rubbed out the 13 from the date and replaced it with 14 above the door while I stood there with a candle-lamp because the hall light isn't working, and we said the Our Father and J. read the little prayer of blessing brought from church, and our home is now blessed for the year ahead.
While also commemorating the Wise Men- traditionally named as Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar - the initials stand for Christus Mansionem Benedicat.
"God of Heaven and earth, you revealed your only-begotten One to every nation by the guidance of a star. Bless this house and all who live here. Fill us with the light of Christ, that our concern for others may reflect your love. We ask this through Christ our Saviour. Amen."