Welcome to our website for the
Three Valleys Team Ministry
An ancient tradition throughout the church and one that you still see in countries such as Germany is the blessing of a home on or near the feast of Epiphany each year. This is done by praying and using chalk blessed at Epiphany each year to write on the outside of the house, normally near the front door, the following:
+ 20 C M B 17 +
The numbers represent the current year, in this case 2017, and the letters have two interpretations. The first and probably the most likely explanation is that it is short for is Christus Mansionem Benedicat(May Christ Bless this House). The alternative is that the letters represent the first letter of the names given to the Magi. By tradition their names are Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar.
In Germany you often see children going around dressed as the Magi blessing homes in this way.
However, anyone can perform this ceremony which is quite short and varies from place to place. One suggested goes like this.
Leader: In the Name of the Father, the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Leader to the household: Peace be to this house and: to all who live here!
All: Blessed be God forever.
A Passage from Scripture is read:
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through without him nothing came to be… And the Word became flesh and dwelt us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Fathers only Son, full of grace truth. (Parts of John 1:1-3.14)
Chalk is then used to write on the wall of the house near to an entrance:
+ 20 C M B 17 +
All: 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. May we be blessed with health, goodness of heart, gentleness and the keeping of your law. Fill us with the light of Christ that our love for each other may go out to all.
We ask this through Christ our Lord Amen.
If anyone in the benefice would like their home blessed in this way during the Epiphany season you can do it yourselves but the clergy would be happy to oblige if you would prefer.
I hope that you will find plenty of useful
and interesting information in here.
The Reverend Tony Gilbert
Tony with his wife Nicola