The Most Holy Name of Jesus
Thoughts for the Week - Fr R Taouk
4th January 2015
Blessing with Chalk
The Church has a custom of blessing homes on the Feast of
the Epiphany and the week following. Beyond providing a
blessing and protection to our homes, it is an invitation
for Our Lord to be a daily guest in our home, our comings
and goings, our conversations, our work and play, our joys
The traditional manner of doing this is to use chalk blessed
during the Epiphany liturgy and write above the home's
entryway, 20 + C + M + B + 15. 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 2015 is the year.
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 + 15 while saying:
The three Wise Men, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar followed
the star of God's Son who became human two thousand and
fourteen 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
with the gift of your love; and grant that we may manifest
your love to each other and to all whose lives we touch. May
we grow in grace and in the knowledge and love of you;
guide, comfort, and strengthen us in peace, O Jesus Christ,
now and for ever. Amen.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You
shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with
all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words
that I am commanding you today in your heart ... and write
them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
(Deuteronomy 6:4-6, 9.)
"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.