Life & Soul Life and Soul

How to… Have your house blessed

An Epiphany chalking in Germany (Wikimedia)

You can get your house blessed at any time, but it’s traditional at around the time of Epiphany. Priests are always pleased to be asked, says Fr Matthew Pittam, a parish priest in Warwickshire. “It provides us with an opportunity to get to know parishioners better as well as offering the wonderful gift of God’s blessing and grace.”

It’s worth tidying up first, since priests will enter all rooms of the house to sprinkle holy water. He’ll also say a variety of prayers and blessings. The whole thing can be over in a few minutes, but it can also be an occasion for a get-together. “Recently,” Fr Pittam says, “I blessed a parishioner’s new flat and also celebrated a Mass in their dining room to which family members and parishioners were invited. This was a lovely occasion which brought people together to ask God to be at the heart of that particular family.”

There is also a hassle-free way to mark the Epiphany and ask for God’s blessing on your house: you can mark your doorway with blessed chalk to read (for 2019) 20 + C + M + B + 19. CMB stands for Christus mansionem benedicat (“May Christ bless this house”) – and for Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar.