Blessing the home on or near the feast of Epiphany, in remembrance of the hospitality of the Holy Family when the magi visited their home to pay homage to the Christ Child, is a tradition that dates from the Middle Ages. Using chalk (which may be blessed for the purpose), mark your doorway with the inscription 20+C+M+B+23.  The numbers indicate the year, containing crosses for Christ and the initials of the traditional names of the magi, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. The letters also stand for Christus mansionem benedicat, (May Christ bless this house).

We will bless chalk at the Eucharist on Jan 6 and use it to mark blessings on our church homes at St. Mary the Virgin and St. Helen’s. You are invited to pick up a piece of this chalk and a copy of the prayer (which can also be downloaded here), on either the 6th or on Sunday the 8th, to mark a blessing on your own home as well.