As Catholics, we celebrate 12 days of Christmas, known as Christmastide, which is the season from Christmas Day until January 6 (in the West, Epiphany is celebrated on the Sunday between Jan. 2nd and Jan. 8th). Epiphany is the feast of the Magi bringing gifts to baby Jesus. Traditionally, Catholics bless their homes in remembrance of the three kings visiting the home of the Holy Family. The custom is to write the initials of the three kings, in chalk on the back of the door with the year of our Lord, such as: 20 + G + M + B + 08. Tradition tells us that the names of the kings are Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar.
Also during Christmastide, the Church celebrates the feasts of Saint Stephen (Dec. 26), Saint John (Dec. 27), the Holy Innocents (Dec. 28), the Holy Family (first Sunday after Christmas), and the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (Jan. 1).
Christmas does not end abrubtly on December 25th. May God bless your Christmastide!
Blessing of the Home on Epiphany
You may go through the various rooms of the home sprinkling holy water. As the various rooms are sprinkled, read the prayer:
Bless, O Lord, almighty God, this home so that in it there may be health, chastity, victorious strength, humility, goodness and mildness, obedience to God's laws, and acts of thanks to God the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, and may this Blessing remain upon this house, and upon all who dwell in it. Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
After the prayers of the blessing is recited, the initials of the Magi are inscribed upon the doors with blessed chalk, as 20 + C + M + B + 08. (The initials, C, M, B, can also be interpreted as the Latin phrase "Christus mansionem benedicat" which means "Christ bless this house".)
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Prayer to the Holy Family
O most loving Jesus, Who by Thy sublime and beautiful virtues of humility, obedience, poverty, modesty, charity, patience and gentleness, and by the example of Thy domestic life, didst bless with peace and happiness the family Thou didst choose on earth, in Thy clemency look down upon this household, humbly prostrate before Thee and imploring Thy mercy. Remember that this family belongs to Thee; for to Thee we have in a special way dedicated and devoted ourselves. Look upon us in Thy loving kindness; preserve us from danger; give us help in time of need, and grant us the grace to persevere to the end in the imitation of Thy Holy Family; that having revered Thee and loved Thee faithfully on earth, we may bless and praise Thee eternally in heaven.
O Mary, most sweet Mother, to thy intercession we have recourse, knowing that thy Divine Son will hear thy prayers.
And do thou, O glorious Patriarch, St. Joseph, assist us by thy powerful mediation, and offer, by the hands of Mary, our prayers to Jesus. Amen.
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Parents' Prayer for Children
Lord God! Thou hast called us to the holy state of matrimony and hast been pleased to make us parents. We recommend to Thee our dear children. We entrust them to Thy fatherly care. May they be a source of consolation, not only to us, but chiefly to Thee, Who are their Creator. Be watchful, O Lord; help and defend them. Grant us the grace to guide them in the way of Thy commandments. This we will do by our own perfect observance of Thy holy law and that of our holy Mother, the Church. Make us conscious of our grave obligation to You and bless our efforts to serve You. We humbly ask this blessing from the bottom of our hearts, for ourselves and for the children whom Thou hast been pleased to give us.
We dedicate them to Thee, O Lord. Do Thou keep them as the apple of Thy eye and protect them under the shadow of Thy wings. Make us worthy to come, at last, to heaven, together with them, giving thanks unto Thee, Our Father, for the loving care Thou hast had of our entire family, and praising Thee together through endless ages. Amen.