Epiphany: Chalking the Door

20+C+M+B+20

On or before the Epiphany, January 6, family and friends gather at the main entrances to homes or apartments and ask God’s blessing on their dwellings and on all who live or visit there. 

Peace be to this house and to all who enter here.

A reading from Proverbs.

With wisdom a house is built. With understanding it is established. With knowledge its rooms are filled with every kind of riches, both valuable and appealing. (Proverbs 24:3-4)

Let us pray.
Gracious God, as a shining star once guided the Wise Men to the infant Jesus, so enable those who dwell here to be your light in the world; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen. 

Using chalk, inscribe the horizontal frame above the door with the inscription shown below. The letters C M B come from the traditional (9th century) names for the “three kings”–Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. Some also suggest “Christus Mansionem Benedicat,” which means “May Christ bless this dwelling.” The numbers stand for the year 2020. 

Each person receives a turn to make one or more of the marks:

20 + C + M + B + 20

A reading from Isaiah.

The result of righteousness will be peace, and righteousness will bring lasting tranquility and security. My people will live in a peaceful place, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. (Isaiah 32:17-18).

People may join hands or extend their hands outward and upward (orans) for the prayers.

Let us pray.
Lord God, we pray that you will bless this home and all who live here with your gracious presence, that your love may be our inspiration, your wisdom our guide, your truth our light, and your peace our blessing; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Lord, remember your children and teach us to pray:

Our Father… 

People may make the sign of the cross in remembrance of their baptism.

The Lord + will watch over our going and our coming, now and forever. (Psalm 121:8)
Amen.

Source: Modified from http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/2000/12/chalking-the-door.aspx#Qh3a4iy2HKPKIKkE.99

Scripture from the Evangelical Heritage Version.  http://www.wartburgproject.org 

A different rite for chalking the door can be seen here: https://onepeterfive.com/the-chalking-of-the-doors-an-epiphany-tradition-explained/

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Published by

pastorstratman

Lutheran pastor serving St. Stephen's in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.

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