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/

Christian Prayer, Banner

Enlighten Us

bartolomc3a9_esteban_murillo_-_adoration_of_the_magi_-_google_art_projectO Jesus Christ our King,
your sign to the Magi was a bright shining star.
Enlighten us by your grace,
and fill us with all wisdom
and spiritual understanding;
grant this because of your goodness,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
whose kingdom and dominion
endure through all ages.

Source: Mozarabic Collect for Epiphany, freely modified from  Mozarabic Collects, ed. Rev. Chas. R. Hale, New York, 1881, p.18 #2

“your sign to the Magi was a bright shining star” is a reference to Matthew 2


Mozarabic, ad.

You Have Given Us the Light of Your Word

veit-dietrichLord God, heavenly Father, you have given us the light of your holy Word, which is our true guiding star that leads us to the Christ-child. Send your Holy Spirit into our hearts, that we may receive this light and make use of it to our salvation. As the wise men were not afraid of any hardship or danger when they were seeking the star, may we also put all our trust in your only Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, as our only Savior, devote our earthly possessions to the advancement of your kingdom and in all things serve him; your only Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one true God, now and forever. Amen.

Source: Veit Dietrich

Source of this version: Source of this version: Freely modified from The Lutheran Hymnary, 1913,http://olcc.us/liturgical-resources/collects-veit-dietrich/ (Epiphany)



Show Us the Brightness of Your Light

antifonariodelec3b3n1O Lord, you are truly the Star that rises out of Jacob,
and the scepter that rises out of Israel.
In a new star you showed yourself as God,
and lying in the manger you showed yourself as God and Man,
so we confess you to be the one Christ.
In your great mercy grant us the grace of seeing you,
and show us the brightness of your light,
that all the darkness of our sins may be driven away.
Even as we long to see you,
refresh us with the joy of seeing you in your holy Word.

Source: Mozarabic Rite

Source of this version: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=963&repos=3&subrepos=3&searchid=1636889

Also found here: http://resource4christians.blogspot.com/2013/01/epiphany-prayer.html

“the Star that rises out of Jacob, and the scepter that rises from Israel” is a reference to Numbers 24:17

“Even as we long to see you” the original source has “that so we who now languish with the desire of seeing thee, may be refreshed with the enjoyment of that blissful vision.” Alteration was made with the Epiphany hymn in mind, “Grant us grace to see you, Lord, mirrored in your holy Word.”

Graphic: Mozarabic manuscript from the Cathedral of Leon, from Wikimedia Commons.


Mozarabic, ad.

An Epiphany Prayer

antifonariodelec3b3n1The heavens are shining with the clear beauty of the stars, O Lord,
and the earth is made beautiful by your light,
because you came to this world from your holy dwelling place.
Remove all sadness from our hearts,
because you have come to make all things new.
Grant also that as we see your light
we  may be purified and prepared to see you forever,
that we who preach to the nations the glad joys of your appearing,
may rejoice with forever.

Source: Mozarabic Breviary

Source of this version: Modified freely from  http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=964

Also found here: http://www.holyapostlesnyc.org/pulpit-posts/what-are-we-willing-to-offer-to-this-newborn-child-who-is-the-lord-of-the-universe/

Sources read thus:

The heavens are shining with the clear beauty of the stars, O Lord,
and the very earth is made beautiful by a shining light,
because thou didst vouchsafe to appear to the world from out thy holy dwelling place.
Remove, therefore, from our hearts all sadness,
for unto this end art thou come,
that thou mayest make all things new.
Grant also that light unto our eyes which may purify us
and fit us to behold thee for ever;
that thus we who preach to the nations the glad joys of thy Apparition,
may be made glad with thee in infinite joy. Amen.

Graphic: Mozarabic manuscript from the Cathedral of Leon, from Wikimedia Commons.


Mozarabic, ad.

Shine in Our Hearts

O Lord Jesus Christ,
you are the sun of the world,
evermore arising, and never going down,
which by your most welcome appearing and sight,
brings forth, preserves, nourishes,
and refreshes all things,
as well that are in heaven as also that are on earth;

We beg you mercifully and faithfully to shine in our hearts,
so that the night and darkness of sins,
and the mist of errors on every side
may be driven away;
with you brightly shining in our hearts
we may all our life go without stumbling or offense,
and may decently and seemly walk as in the day time,
being pure and clean from the works of darkness,
and abounding in all good works
which God has prepared us to walk in;
you who with the Father and with the Holy Ghost
live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.

Source: Thomas Cranmer

Source of this version: https://reformedchristianmuse.wordpress.com/2007/05/04/let-us-pray-with-thomas-cranmer/

Also found here: The One Year Book of Personal Prayer, © 1991 Tyndale House Publishers (June 28)

“Sun of the world” is a reference to Malachi 4:2.

“Walk as in the day time” is a reference to John 11:9 and  John 12:35.

“Works of darkness” is a reference to Ephesians 5:11.

“Good works which God has prepared us to walk in” is a reference to Ephesians 2:10.