The Sisters bless their home on Epiphany

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The Sisters bless their home on Epiphany

On the Feast of Epiphany, monasteries all over the world hold a House Blessing. Here is ours:

 

Epiphany Blessing of our Monastery

Today we come to ask God’s blessing on our dwelling place, on everyone who is resident at the monastery, and on everyone who passes this way.

[The prioress blesses with holy water the entrance and all who are gathered.]

May all of our guests be welcomed as Christ. (from Rule of Benedict, 53.1)

– Saints Benedict and Scholastica, pray for us.

May great care and concern be shown to poor people and pilgrims. (from Rule of Benedict, 53.15)

– Saints Benedict and Scholastica, pray for us.

May all who come here be shown the courtesy of love. (from Rule of Benedict, 53.3)

– Saints Benedict and Scholastica, pray for us.

May the peace we extend to each other be granted to all who enter here. (from Rule of Benedict, 34.5)

– Saints Benedict and Scholastica, pray for us.

May we all be blessed with the grace of a kind word, the best gift. (from Rule of Benedict, 31.13-14)

– Saints Benedict and Scholastica, pray for us.

Magi came from the East to pay homage to the to Jesus Christ. All from Sheba shall come,

– bearing gold and frankincense.

As the Magi journeyed along many pathways, so let us continue our life’s journey:

God of the universe, from beyond the stars you have come to us, revealing Jesus, the Anointed One, to all peoples and nations. Guide us with your star of faith, encourage us with your star of hope, and may the morning star of love always rise in our hearts.

 

[While the prioress slowly proclaims the words, a Sister writes the inscription with red chalk above the doorway: 20 + C + M + B + 20]

The Three Magi, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar … followed the star of God’s Son who became human two thousand twenty years ago. May Christ bless our dwelling and remain with us in our comings and goings throughout this New Year.

[C, M, B also refer to the Latin words Christus mansionem benedicat, “May Christ bless the house.]

Arise! Shine! Jerusalem, your light has come!

– Being people of wisdom, we are led by Christ’s radiance!

Gracious God, may hospitality dwell among us.

– Bless us and all who dwell here. May health, goodness, humility, and faith abide among us. May your Word be at home in our hearts. May we praise you with gladness, gratefulness, and joy. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Then we sing The First Nowell, verses 3 – 5:

(Listen to The First Nowell with King’s College Cambridge choir.)

And by the light of that same star
Three Wise men came from country far
To seek for a King was their intent
And to follow the star wherever it went
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

This star drew nigh to the northwest
O’er Bethlehem it took its rest
And there it did both stop and stay
Right o’er the place where Jesus lay
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Then entered in those Wise men three
Full rev’rently upon their knee
And offered there in His presence
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

May your own home be a haven of peace, hospitality, and joy, where strangers are welcomed as you would welcome Christ.

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“Listen carefully, my child, to your master's precepts, and incline the ear of your heart. Receive willingly and carry out effectively your loving father's advice, that by the labor of obedience you may return to Him from whom you had departed by the sloth of disobedience.”
–St. Benedict of Nursia, The Rule of Saint Benedict