Faith is a living, bold trust in God's grace, so certain of God's favor that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it. Such confidence and knowledge of God's grace makes you happy, joyful and bold in your relationship to God and all creatures. The Holy Spirit makes this happen through faith. Because of it, you freely, willingly and joyfully do good to everyone, serve everyone, suffer all kinds of things, love and praise the God who has shown you such grace. - Martin Luther

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Twelfth Day of Christmas: House Blessing Preparation

Merry Christmas!
I hope the season has been filled with joy, love and wonder at the Incarnation for you and your family!

Tomorrow is Epiphany, and it's customary in many homes (especially in Western Europe) to mark the lintel above the front door with symbols of blessing. You can do it, too!

Mark the front door (or somewhere on the door frame) with these symbols: the date, abbreviation of the phrase Christus Mansionem Benedicat ("Christ bless this home" - which are also the initials of traditional names for the Magi - Casper, Melchior and Balthasar), and four crosses (representing the four seasons).

Order the symbols in the following way: 20 + C + M + B + 12

In the new year, this marking serves as a blessing over the entire household. Be as artistic and creative as you want! Get a jump start on an art project tonight and post it tomorrow night - use markers or do a collage on a piece of cardboard! Alternatively, the marking may be made with chalk, for those who like to keep things simple.

And don't forget the prayer of blessing!
One person, or the whole household together, prays:

Be our shelter, Lord, when we are at home, our companion when we are away, and our welcome guest when we return. And at last receive us into the dwelling place you have prepared for us in your father's house, where you live forever and ever. Amen

Chalking the Door

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