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  • Writer's pictureJayna Newbold

House Blessing

Dear Hearts,

Happy New Year and heaps of good tidings to you and yours in the next twelve months!

Those of you who know me are well aware of my contemplative lifestyle. Minimalism, centering prayer, study, and practice are my jam.

With that, of course, comes an un-bundling of some conventional thinking and teaching; several of which promote close-mindedness and even negative behaviors.

However, let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater, shall we, Dear Hearts?

There are specific meaningful traditions worth keeping in our arsenal. Most sacred holy days are commemorated with mind, body, spirit practices -- including social constructs -- which impact our lives in a positive manner.

One such well thought out New Year tradition practiced almost all over the world (less in the U.S.) is an annual "House Blessing". Here in the United States, we have watered down this practice with a simple purging / cleaning of the home with an "out with the old and in with the new" mantra.

Nothing wrong with the American version, Dear Hearts.

It's a good start.

However, the "House Blessing" to which I refer has a bit more substance.

So much for minimalism, you may retort.

Fair enough. But we can still add deep meaning to our new year without creating a major event, more busy-ness, and spending extra money.

It's called The Feast of the Epiphany. Personally, I am attracted to the European version which goes something like this: - On January 5th (Twelfth Night -- twelfth day of Christmas), the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6th), European Christians chalk their doors with a pattern which includes the year broken down into month, day, and year with symbols of the cross in between.

- The numbers refer to the calendar year, the crosses stand for Christ; and letters C, M, and B stand for the Magi names (Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar) and an abbreviation of the Latin blessing Christus mansionem benedicat, which means, "May Christ bless this house".

- The inscription is performed as a request for Christ to bless our homes and stay with those who live there throughout the entire year. For added emphasis, read the following blessing aloud: God who is three. God who is one.

Give blessing to the house that is here. Bless it from roof to floor.

from wall to wall, from end to end.

May Your Spirit alone dwell within these walls,

To bring joy and laughter to all who enter here.

We call upon the Sacred Three

To save, to shield, and surround this home.

The circle of God around it,

The peace of Christ within it,

The life of the Spirit above it,

this day, this night, and every night,

May the Triune God be Guardian of this place.

Peace be here in the name of the God of Love.

Welcome be here in the name of the Christ of Peace.

Joy be here in the name of the Spirit of Life.

God who is one, God who is three,

Bring light for the day and rest for the night.

We call upon the Sacred Three

To welcome, guard and nurture all who enter here.

The circle of God around friend and stranger,

The Peace of Christ within guest and host,

The Life of the Spirit above all who stand at the door.

this day, this night, and evermore.

- Adapted from a blessing in Celtic daily prayer

So, Dear Hearts: Feel free to continue your annual habit of purging / cleaning; open your doors to let the past year's ills escape and welcome fresh air from the new year in. Even cleanse by burning some sage or whatever else works for your mind, body, and spirit. However, adding / keeping this tradition of chalking your door is a nice one.

Happy New Year! . . .and BLESS your Dear Hearts and homes!

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