Chalking of the Door – An Epiphany House Blessing
“Chalking the door” is a way to celebrate and literally mark the occasion of the Epiphany and God’s blessing of our lives and home. With time the chalk will fade. As it does we let the meaning of the symbols written sink into the depths of our heart and be manifest in our words and actions the Latin words, Christus mansionem benedictat, “May Christ bless the house.”
A traditional way of doing this is to use chalk to write above the home’s entrance, 20 + C + M + B + 18. The letters C, M, B have two meanings. They are the initials of the traditional names of the three magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. They also abbreviate the Latin words Christus mansionem benedicat, “May Christ bless the house.” The “+” signs represent the cross and 2018 is the year.
Blessing the Chalk:
The following prayer is taken from the book, The Twelve Days of Christmas, by Elsa Chaney.
LEADER (Priest, if present, or father of the family): Peace be to this house.
ALL: And to all who dwell herein.
ALL: From the east came the Magi to Bethlehem to adore the Lord; and opening their treasures they offered precious gifts: gold for the great King, incense for the true God, and myrrh in symbol of His burial.
ALL PRAY: The Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). During the Magnificat, the room is sprinkled with holy water and incense. After this is completed,
ALL: From the east came the Magi to Bethlehem to adore the Lord; and opening their treasures they offered precious gifts: gold for the great King, incense for the true God, and myrrh in symbol of his burial.
LEADER: Our Father…And lead us not into temptation
ALL: But deliver us from evil.
LEADER: All they from Saba shall come.
ALL: Bringing gold and frankincense.
LEADER: O Lord, hear my prayer,
ALL: And let my cry come to you.
LEADER: Let us pray. O God, who by the guidance of a star didst on this day manifest Thine only-begotten Son to the Gentiles, mercifully grant that we who know Thee by faith may also attain the vision of Thy glorious majesty. Through Christ our Lord.
Instructions for Blessing the Home
Using the blessed chalk mark the lintel of your front door (or front porch step) as follows:
20 + C + M + B + 18 (for 2018, in this example)
The three Wise Men, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar followed the star of God’s Son who became human two thousand and sixteen years ago. May Christ bless our home and remain with us throughout the new year. Amen.
Then offer the following prayer: Visit, O blessed Lord, this home with the gladness of your presence. Bless all who live or visit here