Epiphany House Blessing


We celebrate Epiphany on January 6. Epiphany marks the end of the Christmas season, recalling the wise ones from the East who visited the infant Jesus, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:1-12). We use the word epiphany today to describe those “aha!” moments of insight in our lives, and this is no exception. The Epiphany celebrates the world recognizing and welcoming the arrival of God in Jesus Christ.

During the Epiphany season, priests would journey to parishioners’ homes to bless them, so, along with singing Christmas carols (especially “We Three Kings!”), the celebration of Twelfth Night (Epiphany Eve), eating king cake, and the like,  chalking the door became a tradition. You’ll notice the chalk above the door of our parish home at Holy Cross, and we invite you to do the same. Chalking the door blesses and protects your home and offers hospitality to Jesus, the holy family and the wandering magi, and your neighbors.

The following is written over the doorway:

20 + C + M + B + 22

The numbers indicate the year; the crosses represent the cross of Christ. The letters “C M B” are the initials of the blessing Christus Mansionem Benedicat “May Christ Bless This House.” This may be the source of the traditional names of the magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar.

Welcome Jesus!



From the BuildFaith resource Celebrating Epiphany at Home:

O God of Stars and Journeys, we ask your blessing on this threshold. May all whose journeys lead them through these doors be blessed with health, generosity of spirit, a joyful heart, and deep peace. O God of Welcome, may all who enter this doorway rejoice to find Christ living among us, and may we seek and serve, in everyone we meet, that same Jesus who is the incarnate Word, now and forever. Amen.


A house blessing adapted from the Book of Occasional Services:

May God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Light of the nations and the Glory of your people, bless us who dwell in this home. May it be for us a place of peace and health, that we may rejoice in the gifts and graces you have bestowed upon us and dedicate our talents for the good of those for whom your Christ came and gave his life, and who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.


The Collect for Epiphany from the Book of Common Prayer:

O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.



Formation at Holy Cross

Holy Cross believes that formation is for everyone, and during the program year we offer formation twice month on Sundays. We also offer a weekly Bible and book study on Wednesday mornings, and a variety of evening programs throughout the year.

During the pandemic, most activities at the church have been suspended. Please take a look at the resources on this page to supplement your learning at home.


Check out the Children page for resources specifically for families.

Resources for Any Time


The Examen with Fr. James Martin S.J.

The examen is an ancient prayer practice that enables you to find God in your daily life. This podcast is based on a technique that St. Ignatius Loyola outlined in the "Spiritual Exercises," his classic manual for prayer.  Each 18 minute episode, Fr. Martin provides a reflection and then guides you through the examen prayer. Listen at https://examen.libsyn.com or download using your favorite podcast platform.

The Bible for Normal People

This weekly podcast, hosted by Pete Enns and Jared Byas, explores two questions: What is the Bible and what do we do with it? Pete and Jared are serious scholars of the Bible who also have a great sense of humor.  They interview prominent theologians  and explore tough issues, biblical interpretation, biblical history, and more. Listen at https://peteenns.com/podcast/ or download using your favorite podcast platform.

On Being with Krista Tippett

This Peabody Award-winning podcast examines the great questions of meaning at the intersection of spiritual inquiry, science, social healing, and the arts: What does it mean to be human? How do we want to live? And who will we be to each other?"  You can listen at https://onbeing.org/series/podcast/ or download using your favorite podcast platform.



The Irreverends

This weekly podcast, hosted by Gini Gerbasi and Tim Watt of St. John's Episcopal Church, Georgetown, explores the upcoming Sunday lectionary readings, along with a spiritual exercise and a dash of snark.  You can listen at https://stjohnsgeorgetown.org/the-irreverends/ or download using your favorite podcast platform.

"Honest to God" lecture

Washington National Cathedral 11/12/2019

Video Resources