The Tradition of Chalking the Door on Epiphany: January 8, 2023

What is the meaning of Epiphany?
Epiphany is a celebration of God manifesting as the baby Jesus and revealing Himself to the world. The holiday also marks the day the Magi, or the three kings, visiting the baby Jesus in Bethlehem. Jesus’ baptism is also celebrated during Epiphany. The holiday is also sometimes known as Three Kings Day.
The Tradition of Chalking the door: The Epiphany house blessing of the door is a really great Catholic tradition for families. Bless your door every year on the Epiphany! It’s very simple to do, it’s not complicated or scary, and you can do it yourself. Pick up your Epiphany house blessing kit at Mass! The house blessing is a specific blessing for the home that is traditionally done each year on the Solemnity of the Epiphany (also known as Three Kings Day or Twelfth Night) that is done on a door entering the house and uses symbols drawn with blessed chalk. This is called chalking the door and is practiced by many Christians.
Where Do I Put the Chalk Symbols? The ‘lintel’ of the door (the horizontal piece above the door) is the most traditional place, and this has biblical roots going back to the story of Moses in the Bible, when the Israelites were asked to put the blood of a lamb or goat on the doorposts and above the doors of the houses.
What Do the Epiphany Door Symbols Mean? The Epiphany door blessing includes symbols for all three kings plus the numbers from the current year. The three letters are the first initial of each of the Kings (Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar). The ‘C, M, B’ also stands for the Latin blessing Christius Mansionem Benedicat which means ‘May Christ Bless This House’. The markings over the doors should be left all year round as a sign that yours is a Christian home. For 2023 this is what you will write on your door in chalk: 20 + C + M + B + 23
What do I do/say? Make the sign of the cross, sprinkle some holy water on the door and then recite a simple prayer: ‘Loving God, bless this household and all who enter. May we and they be blessed with health, goodness of heart, gentleness, and seek to do your will. We ask this through Christ our Saviour. Amen’

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