Epiphany: Chalking the Door


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.

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.

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)

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/

A Mozarabic Christmas Blessing


May our Lord Jesus + Christ, who this day revealed his glory to the shepherds from the manger, bless us.

May he, who in mercy took the form of a human infant for us, protect and defend us in all things.

May he, who is our Lord and Redeemer preserve us with his favor forever.

Through the mercy of our God, who is blessed, and lives and rules all things, now and forever.

Source: Breuiarum Gothicum, p. 46.

Original in Latin:

Mozarabic Christmas Blessing


Mozarabic, ad.

The Splendor of Eternal Light


May the Lord + Jesus Christ,
who is the splendor of eternal Light,
remove from your hearts
the darkness of night. Amen.

May he drive far from you
the snares of the crafty enemy,
and always give you
his angel of light
to guard you. Amen.

That you may rise to your morning praises,
kept safe in him,
in whom is all
the fullness of your salvation.

Source: Attributed to Mozarabic Psalter, possibly 8th century.


Mozarabic, ad.

Enlightenment and Joy, Wisdom and Comfort, Rest and Peace

KAThe Lord enlighten you
through the teachings of Jesus Christ
and strengthen you as you walk in his light.

The Lord give you joy
as he shows you his Fatherly mercies
new every morning.

The Lord give you wisdom in happiness,
comfort in suffering,
rest in death,
and one day,
the peace of eternal life.

Source: Schleswig-Hosteinsche Kirchen-Agende, 1797, Segenswünsche,  p. 146#5, translated for A Collection of Prayers.

Original in German:

Der Herr erleuchte euch alle durch die Lehre Jesu Christi, und gebe euch Kraft, in ihrem Lichte zu wandeln!

Der Herr erfreue euch taglich durch neue Beweise seiner Vatergüte.

Der Herr gebe euch Weisheit in Glucke, Trost im Leiden, Ruhe im Tode und einst den Frieden des ewigen Lebens!

Translation note:

Literally, the first strophe is “The Lord enlighten you through the teachings of Jesus Christ and strengthen you as you walk in their light.” I thought it was less confusing, and more direct, to say “his light.”

The second strophe is translated more freely to state clearly what the original implies, “his mercies are new every morning.”



May the Almighty, All-Wise, All-Good God Bless Us

KAGod, the almighty
guide us in all our doings,
protect us in every danger,
help us in every need!

God, the all-wise
make everything work for our good,
according to his purpose.

God, the all-good
free us from all the afflictions
of Eden’s fall
on that day
when he gives us
the unending bliss
of eternal life.

Source: Schleswig-Hosteinsche Kirchen-Agende, 1797, Segenswünsche,  p. 146#3, translated for A Collection of Prayers.

Original in German:

Gott, der Allmächtige, sey unser Beistand in jedem Geschäft, unsre Zuversicht in jeder Gefahr, unsre Hülfe in jeder Noth!
Gott, der Allweise, lasse alle unsere Schicksale uns zum besten dienen!
Gott, der Allgütige, löse einst all’ unser Edenleiden auf in die überschängliche Wonne des ewigen Lebens!

Translation note:

“according to his purpose” was added for clarity, and to make a stronger connection with Romans 8:28.

“from all the afflictions of Eden’s fall…” was translated more freely for the sake of clarity.



Wisdom, Courage, Strength, Peace, Blessing

KAThe Lord bless us with wisdom,
with courage and strength to do his will!

The Lord keep our souls pure,
our consciences at peace,
our hearts content!

The Lord grant us a portion
of his blessing in this life,
and one day,
the higher joys of eternal life!

Source: Schleswig-Hosteinsche Kirchen-Agende, 1797, Segenswünsche,  p. 146#2, translated for A Collection of Prayers.

Original in German:

Der Herr segne uns mit Weisheit, mit Muth und Kraft zu guten Thaten!
Der Herr erhalte unfre Seele rein, unser Gewissen ruhig, unser Herz zufrieden!
Der Herr verleih’ uns unser bescheiden Theil vom Lebensglük und einst die höhere Wonne des ewigen Lebens!



The Lord Bless You with His Goodness, Rest, Power, Wisdom, Patience, Hope

KAMay the Lord show you
the greatness of his goodness,
that you overflow with thanks
every day.

May the Lord bless you abundantly
with rest for the heart,
power for virtue,
wisdom for life,
and patience in suffering.

May the Lord bless you
with joyful hope,
and one day
with the inexpressible joys
of eternal life.

Source: Schleswig-Hosteinsche Kirchen-Agende, 1797, Segenswünsche,  p. 146#1, translated for A Collection of Prayers.

The original (as seen below) gives the option of saying this blessing with the pronouns we, us and our as indicated.

Der Herr lasse euch (uns) alle täglich erfahren
und dankbar fühlen, wie freundlich er ist!
Der Herr fegne euch (uns) reichlich mit Ruhe  des Herzens,
mit Kraft zur Tugend, mit Weisheit des Lebens, und mit Geduld im Leiden!
Der Herr beselige euch (uns) mit froher Hofnung,
und einst mit unausfprechlichen Genuffe des ewigen Lebens!