Chalking of the Doors

The tradition of blessing one’s home on or near the feast of the Epiphany (January 6) can be traced back to the Middle Ages. 

Using blessed chalk, we mark the lintel of our front doorways with the inscription 20+C+M+B+21 calling to mind the magi who according to tradition are named Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, who journeyed far from their homes to Bethlehem that they might adore Jesus. CMB is also the Latin acronym for Christus Mansionem Benedicat, “May Christ bless this house.” The “+” are crosses, not addition symbols.

Blessed chalk and prayer cards are available in a container just outside the doors of both St Paul’s and St John’s. Pop by whenever you like and pick up a package. Then take a few minutes as we begin the season of Epiphany and a New Year and ask God’s blessing on your family and home this year! Video and prayers below…

20 + C + M + B + 21

The above line should be written on the lintel above the front door into your house. A piece of blessed chalk may be taken with you for this purpose. Following the writing, this prayer is to be used:

O Lord holy, Father Almighty, everlasting God, we beseech thee to hear us: and vouchsafe to send thy holy Angel from heaven, to guard and cherish, protect and visit, and evermore defend all that dwell in this house.

I call upon thy Saints, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, to protect my family and my home from every harm and danger, and I place this mark over my door to remain as a constant reminder to us and to all who enter here that my house is truly a house of the Lord. O God, make the door of my house the gateway to thine Eternal Kingdom.

All this we ask through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen.

You should end up with something like this:

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