CHALK + BLESS YOUR HOME FOR EPIPHANY
As the Christmas Season draws to a close, Holy Mother Church celebrates the great Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord. “Epiphany” literally means a manifestation or a showing forth. As the original Christmas, this was the day more highly regarded and celebrated because, while the birth of Christ brings great joy, on Epiphany he was made known to the world, represented by the Magi. Traditionally this is the day on which gifts are given, in imitation of the gifts given to the Child Jesus by the Magi. Marking our doorways or front porch steps with chalk is a centuries-old Epiphany custom and a visible way to dedicate our homes and the New Year to God. The inscription this year is: 20 + C + M + B + 24
This Epiphany tradition is a way of blessing all who enter, exit, and dwell in your home or church. You simply write the number of the new year and the letters C, M, and B in chalk on your door or doorframe. The letters stand for the three traditional names of the Magi in Matthew 2: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. The letters can also be a Latin acronym for “May Christ bless this dwelling.
This outward sign of our celebration of Epiphany is a visible sign to all who enter our homes that they are entering the home of faithful Christian, one who rejoices in the manifestation of Christ in the world as its King and Savior, and one who proclaims year-round the joy that is the message of Christmas. As we have all been marked with the sign of the Holy Spirit in Baptism and Confirmation, this marking of our homes lets it be known to the all the world. The chalk mark will fade with time, but we permit what the sign represents—our Faith—to sink more deeply into our hearts and mind, that it may be manifested more fully in our thoughts and actions.
Below is a very brief Blessing for Epiphany, and I encourage all our families at some point this week to take a moment to gather as a household, to offer this prayer, and to “chalk the doors” in celebration of Our Lord’s Epiphany.
Epiphany Blessing Gathering near the main entrance to the home. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. May peace dwell in this house and in all who live here.
O God, by the guidance of a star you revealed your Only Begotten Son to the nations. Grant that we who know you by Faith in this life may come to live in your presence in the next. Amen.
Bless this home, Almighty God, that it may be a dwelling of grace, love, peace, happiness, forgiveness health, humility, goodness, mildness, and obedience. Amen.
Pray for Peace,