May Christ Bless This House!

cervattoTo speak about this door, it’s important to know a little bit about the Christian religious tradition of the Epiphany; this word means: the manifestation of the Lord.

The three Magi, Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar, walk toBethlehem, following the comet star,to adore the new born King. The three wise Men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh as symbols of: the kingship of Jesus (gold), divinity (frankincense), humanity and priesthood (myrrh).

Since the middle ages, the tradition has been to bless the houses of the faithful and inscribe with blessed chalk upon the lintels the initials of the three kings. cervattoThis tradition symbolizes the family’s commitment to welcome Christ into their homes for the entire coming year.

The rite starts with the Gospel according toSt. John’sreading : “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 him, and without him nothing came to be […] And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.” (John 1,1-3 and 1,14)

Reciting prayers, each room is sprinkled with holy water and above the doors the request of “Christus Mansionem Benedicat” is inscribed with the blessed chalk: 20*C+M+B*11

These are the year and the initials of the Magi but can be understood also like “Christus Mansionem Benedicat” which means “May Christ bless this house”.

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