Annual House Blessing--Feast of the Three Kings plaque
Updated: Dec 26, 2019
In Poland and many Central and Eastern European countries-- including Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Hungary and Sweden-- families celebrate Epiphany by inscribing the letters CMB above their doors with a cross between each letter. This is done every year on January 6th, Epiphany. Epiphany commemorates the arrival of the Magi. Many people ascribe the letters to represent the initial of the names of the Magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar (according to legend). But the letters actually represent the Latin phrase "Christus Mansem Benedicat,' which means "May Christ bless this home."
Families take a small box with chalk, a gold ring, incense and a piece of amber to church to be blessed. These items represent the gifts of the Magi. The chalk is used to write the date and the initials of the Magi over every door in the home. It is left there throughout the year, until it is worn off or replaced the next year at Epiphany. This expresses the belief that the Lord remains with His people throughout the year.
Start this tradition in your own home with one door or all of them like the Poles!
Chalk (any color)
Slate plaque(s) (hobby and craft stores have these)
Using chalk write the date and the initials on the slate plaque like this: "20 K+M+B 19" in 2019, for Kaspar, Melchior and Balthasar. Replace the plus symbols with crosses. Hang the plaque over the doorway.