Please join us after the 11:00am Mass on Sunday, January 6, for the special Epiphany Water Blessing, followed by a parish pot-luck lunch and celebration.
We typically associate Epiphany with the arrival of the magi (wise men) from the east to adore the Christ child. But traditionally this is one of three “epiphanies” or “theophanies” — manifestations of the divinity of Christ. The other two are Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan and his first public miracle, turning water into wine at the Wedding Feast of Cana.
There are many special traditions observed on this day, including the blessing of chalk, the blessing of homes, and a very special blessing of holy water.
There is a long-standing tradition of marking churches, homes, schools and other buildings by using blessed chalk to inscribe a sacred formula over the doorways including the numerals of the current year plus the initials C, M and B. These initials represent the names of the three magi, Casper, Melchior and Balthazar, and also the Latin phrase Christus Mansionem Benedicat which means, “Christ bless this house.” Blessed chalk, as well as take-home instructions for how to bless your homes, will be available after all Masses on Epiphany Sunday.
Because of the connection with Christ’s baptism and his miraculous transformation of water into wine, there is a very special blessing of Holy Water associated with Epiphany. This ancient rite of blessing may only be performed by a priest on Epiphany, and includes powerful prayers of exorcism, including the addition of exorcised salt to the water. Please bring your own containers to the church so that you can take some of this special Epiphany Holy Water home with you — it is one of the most powerful sacramentals of the church. (All of the holy water used in our parish throughout the year is Epiphany holy water, so you can come at any time for a refill!)