Epiphany of the Lord & Blessing of the Home

 In Living the Liturgy

Epiphany means “to make known” or “to reveal.” Thus, the Epiphany of the Lord is to make known to all nation that the Messiah, the King of all kings, the Lord of all, Jesus Christ, who would bring salvation to many, was born. As Isaiah wrote, “the light has come.” (Isaiah 60:1).  

In this Feast of Epiphany, we also celebrate the arrival of the magi to pay homage to the humble King, Jesus Christ. They prostrated and brought Him gifts, the gift of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. There were many varying interpretations of these three gifts. For some biblical scholars and theologians, these gifts are the customary gifts to honor a king, gold as a precious valuable metal, frankincense as a perfume, and myrrh as an anointing oil, i.e. use in consecrating a king. Others would interpret these gifts signifying special spiritual symbolism, a deeper theological meaninggold representing Jesus’ Kingship, frankincense symbolizing His priestly role, and myrrh prefiguring His death. Speaking of Jesus’ death, some would construe these gifts as medicinal in nature, in particular the frankincense, a herbal remedy to treat arthritis, the inflammation of the cartilage tissue. We know for a fact that by carrying the cross He would bear would lead to some soreness of His body. In addition, the myrrh is the key ingredients that are used to prepare bodies for burial. 

Nevertheless, whatever these gifts symbolize, it connotes one thing that these gifts fit only to the only One, Holy, and the Truth, Jesus Christ, the Only-Begotten Son of God, the true and the righteous King. 

Day and night, they do not stop exclaiming: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, who was, and who is, and who is to come.” He is worthy to be given glory and honor and thanks, who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, and to Him, all exclaiming: “Worthy are you, Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things; because of your will they came to be and were created. (Revelation 4:8-11). 

 

Blessing of the Home and Household on Epiphany 

When all have gathered, a suitable song may be sung. The leader makes the sign of the cross, and all reply, “Amen.” 

The leader greets those present in the following words: 

Leader: Let us praise God, who fills our hearts and homes with peace. Blessed be God forever. 

All:  Blessed be God forever. 

In the following or similar words, the leader prepares those present for the blessing: 

Leader: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling place among us. It is Christ who enlightens our hearts and homes with his love. May all who enter this home find Christ’s light and love. 

One of those present or the leader reads a text of sacred Scripture, for example, Luke 19:1-9: 

Leader: Listen to the words of the holy Gospel according to Luke: 

Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way.  When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.” 

The intercessions are then said: 

Leader:  The Son of God made his home among us. With thanks and praise let us call upon him. Let us pray to the Lord: 

All: Stay with us, Lord. 

Leader:   Lord Jesus Christ, with Mary and Joseph you formed the Holy Family: remain in our home, that we may know you as our guest and honor you as our Head. Let us pray to the Lord: 

All: Stay with us, Lord. 

Leader:   Lord Jesus Christ, you had no place to lay your head, but in the spirit of poverty accepted the hospitality of your friends: grant that through our help the homeless may obtain proper housing. Let us pray to the Lord: 

All: Stay with us, Lord. 

Leader: Lord Jesus Christ, the three kings presented their gifts to you in praise and adoration: grant that those living in this house may use their talents and abilities to your greater glory. Let us pray to the Lord: 

All: Stay with us, Lord. 

 

After the intercessions the leader invites all present to say the Lord’s Prayer. 

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 us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 

All: Amen. 

The leader says the prayer of blessing with hands joined: 

Leader: Lord God of heaven and earth,
you revealed your only-begotten Son to every nation
by the guidance of a star.
Bless this house
and all who inhabit it.
Fill us with the light of Christ,
that our concern for others may reflect your love.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. 

All: Amen.

The leader concludes the rite by signing himself or herself with the sign of the cross and saying: 

Leader: May  Christ Jesus dwell with us,
keep us from all harm,
and make us one in mind and heart,
now and forever. 

All: Amen. 

It is preferable to end the celebration with a suitable song, for example, “O Come, All Ye Faithful” or “We Three Kings.” 

 

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