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early Epiphany celebration

Last night, we celebrated Epiphany early since our friend Byron is heading out of town for the weekend, and I did not want him to miss out on one of my favorite traditions. 
Just as we have done in years past, we gathered around the table with candles
 and with our liturgy to celebrate the Light.  One of the things I love about liturgy is that each year, we say these words, and over time, it starts to sink in. Each year with different experiences that have marked our journeys, we bring more to the table, and hopefully we are able to savor the words and let them continue to have their way with us.  
May 2017 be a year in which God gives us grace to see Him in the epiphanies of the daily experiences of our lives and may our home be a place where Christ's light is known. 
A Blessing of the Home
(L=Leader,  C=Community)
L: The Lord is with you;
C: And also with you.
All: Peace be to this house and to all who live, work, and visit here.
L: Let’s take a moment to remember the friends and family who have passed through our door during the past year and give thanks to God for them.

L: The three wise men came to Bethlehem in search of the Lord. They brought to him precious gifts: gold to honor the newborn king, incense to the true God in human form, and myrrh to anoint his body, which one day would die like our own.

L: Let us pray. O God, you once used a star to show to all the world that Jesus is your Son. May the light of that star that once guided wise men to honor his birth, now guide us to recognize him also, to know you by faith, and to see you in the epiphanies of the daily experiences of our lives.

L: Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord — Jesus born of Mary — shall be revealed.

C: And all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.
All: As the Wise Men once sought your brilliant light, O Lord, so may we seek to live and work in your splendor.

L: O God of Light, bless this (our) house and this (our) family. May this be a place of peace and health. May each member of this family cultivate the gifts and graces you have bestowed, dedicating our talents and works for the good of all.
L: Make this house a shelter in the storm and a haven of rest for all in need of your warmth and care. And when we go out from this place, may we never lose sight of that Epiphany star.
C: As we go about our work, our study, our play, keep us in its light and in your love.
A Blessing of the Chalk for Marking the Door
L: Lord Jesus, through your Incarnation and birth in true human form, you have made all the earth holy. We now ask your blessing upon this simple gift of your creation — chalk. We use it as a tool to teach our children, and they use it as a tool in their play and games. Now, with your blessing, may it become a tool for us to mark the doors of our home with the symbols of your wise servants who, so long ago, came to worship and adore you in your first home.
People in turn mark the doorway with one or more of the symbols:
20 C M B 17
C M B stands for Christus Mansionem Benedicat, May Christ bless this house.  
The numbers represent the year, 2017


L: May we, in this house, and all who come to visit, to work, and to play, remember these things throughout the coming year.

 May all who come and go here find peace, comfort, joy, hope, love, and salvation, for Christ has come to dwell in this house and in these hearts.
   
 All: May we be Christ's light in the world. Amen.   














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