Denver Newsroom, Jan 6, 2022 / 03:00 am
Have you ever gone past a door with what appears to be random letters and numbers written at the top? These letters and numbers actually have a great significance.
Traditionally on the feast of Epiphany, Catholics bless their homes by writing the letters C, M and B and the numbers of the year, for example 2022, at the top of their doors. The letters stand for the names of the three Magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. They also represent the Latin blessing Christus mansionem benedicat, which means “May Christ bless this house.”
Many Catholic parishes will give their parishioners a piece of chalk, a small bottle of holy water, and the house blessing written so that each family can go and bless their homes.
Epiphany, which is also known as “Little Christmas,” is the feast that celebrates the arrival of the three Magi who had come to worship the Child Jesus shortly after his birth. It is traditionally celebrated on Jan. 6. However, in the United States, in the Novus Ordo, it is celebrated on the Sunday between Jan. 2 and Jan 8. Many around the world celebrate this feast with as much pomp and circumstance as Christmas, including the exchanging of gifts.