Sunday, January 10, 2016

Epiphany Blessing Kits

Chris and I are excited about Epiphany house-blessing kits being made available for our fellow parishioners. My husband Chris heard that there would be a traditional blessing of Epiphany water and chalk on the vigil of Epiphany: this blessing is much more significant than the normal blessing of holy water, includes numerous exorcisms, and it takes nearly an hour.

Upon hearing the news, Chris dashed out, bought chalk, and hauled 10 gallons of water to the blessing. Then he and our children assembled kits by breaking chalk into eighths, dividing up Epiphany salt (actually blessed in 2015), and printing out instructions for the blessing. He hauled the water to church and filled the water dispenser (with the invitation of the church, of course).

Below are the instructions, and I hope all our local friends were able to grab a kit after the various Masses on Sunday. Think of how many graces will abound if a majority of our parishioners bless their homes!

Dear Friends of the Charlotte Latin Mass Community

Laudetur Iesus Christus!  In the ancient Church calendar we have entered into the Octave of Epiphany which runs thru (Commemoration of the Baptism of Our Lord). The Christmas season then continues on a spiritual level until, the Feast of the Purification/Candlemas. During this "Epiphanytide" it's been customary for the faithful to have their homes blessed by a priest, and when a priest can't be present (which is common), the father of the household can perform this blessing which we kindly attach.

Epiphany Blessing Kits

In the spirit of Epiphanytide, the Charlotte Latin Mass Community will distribute Epiphany Blessing Kits this Sunday after the 12:30pm Latin Mass. The kits includes Epiphany Holy Water, Blessed Chalk, Holy Salt.  The Epiphany Holy Water is actually located in the Holy Water Font in the narthex and you will need to bring your own container. The chalk and Holy Salt will come in a bag with some information.  

A few questions (and some poorly worded answers)

1. What is Epiphany Holy WaterIn short, it's very powerful Holy Water and its blessing contains an exorcism prayer along with the Litany of the Saints. The entire blessing usually done on January 5th and takes 40 minutes. It can be used in the home blessing, your home's holy water font, and used to ward off evil spirits or demons. 

2. What is Blessed Chalk? This sacramental is used during the Epiphany Home blessing and you are to write the year and the initials of the 3 Magi over the door of your home to show Christ reigns in that home, and to keep away evil spirits.

3. What is Blessed Salt? - Although not tied directly to the Epiphany Blessing custom, it's a powerful sacramental which can ward off demons and evil spirits. You can sprinkle it around your house during the blessing, take it with you when you travel (hotels), or even place in your food (at any time). Fisheaters has more information about it.

4. Why all the attention around Epiphany? As you know, Epiphany is an important feast in the Church, and she provides her faithful with many graces during this Christmas season. This is especially true in the Extraordinary Form rite (Latin Mass), which has several blessings of sacramentals during this season to help us on our journey to salvation. Many of these customs of Epiphany were forgotten but now we as a Church are rediscovering them. The Roman Ritual book of 1962 (i.e. the Extraordinary Form rite) contain these traditional blessings for Epiphany water and Blessed chalk as well as gold, frankincense and myrrh (and many other blessings for the rest of the year). In these troubled times, it's beneficial to take advantage of the graces and gifts Holy Mother Church provides us.
There is a lot more to say about these 3 blessed Sacramentals, but the linked resources will be a good place to start. We hope to see you Sunday.

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