Chalk the Door

chalk the door

This is a tradition we don’t see much of in the United Church, but is a fun way to bring your faith, quite literally, home.

The formula goes like this, in chalk above your main door write:

20 (first two digits of the year) + C + M + B + 22 (or last two digits of the year)

The letters C M B stand for either the traditional names given to the three Magi (Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar) as well as the latin blessing “Christus Mansionem Benedicat” (May Christ bless this dwelling).

“Chalking the door,” as it is known, is seen as invoking Christ’s blessing not only on the physical house but on the people who live there and those who visit. There is a long tradition of blessing homes, especially on the Epiphany, which falls on Jan. 6 each year, and the weeks that follow.

MARY FRANCES SCHJONBERG | For an Epiphany blessing, chalk the door with ‘holy graffitti’

This is an annual tradition your community of faith or family can take part in. It’s also a gentle form of public witness, since curious neighbours might ask you just what you’re up to. But more than that, it is a reminder to us whenever we enter or leave or home, or invite a guest in, that God’s blessing goes with us in this world.