The Feast of the Epiphany (6 January)
Inscribing a Blessing with Chalk upon your Houses
“We invite you to adopt this custom in your family. The family gathers to ask God’s blessing on their home and on those who live in or visit the home. It is an invitation for Jesus to be a daily guest in our home, our comings and goings, our conversations, our work and play, our joys and sorrows.”
“A traditional way of doing this is to use chalk to write above the home’s entrance, 20 + C + M + B + 19. The letters C, M, B have two meanings. They are the initials of the traditional names of the three magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. They also abbreviate the Latin words Christus mansionem benedicat, “May Christ bless the house.” The “+” signs represent the cross and 2019 is the year.”
The Blessing at the End of Mass
Priest: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Response: Who made heaven and earth.
Priest: The Lord be with you.
Response: And with your spirit.
Priest: Bless, O Lord God, this creature chalk to render it helpful to men. Grant that they who use it in faith and with it inscribe upon the entrance of their homes the names of your saints, Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar, may through their merits and intercessions enjoy health of body and protection of soul. Through Christ Our Lord.
The chalk is then sprinkled with holy water.