Chalking the Door
a New Year’s or Epiphany house blessing.
The practice of writing a special code over the entrance to a home with blessed chalk is a centuries-old traditional blessing of a home each January. It’s a reminder of God’s presence in our daily lives and a dedication of the year and everything that will happen during it, to God. It’s also great witness for our guests, not to mention that it looks pretty cool!
Take a stick of chalk that’s been blessed, and write above your home’s entrance, 20 + C + M + B + 17. Ask God’s blessing on your home and family and anyone who visits you there. Invite Jesus to be a daily guest in our home, our comings and goings, our conversations, our work and play, our joys and sorrows.
The letters C, M, and B have two meanings. They are the initials of the traditional names of the three magi who brought gifts to Jesus sometime soon after his birth:
Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. They also abbreviate the Latin words Christus Mansionem Benedicat, which translates to “May Christ bless this house.” The ‘+’ signs represent the cross and the numbers, the year.
Traditionally this was done after Mass on the Feast of the Epiphany in early January, with chalk blessed by the parish priest. It works just as well on New Year’s Day.
More information and prayers of blessings for the chalk and home, click here