For the first time, SJV will be distributing blessed chalk at our Epiphany Masses this weekend. Our priests will bless the chalk during the masses. The blessed chalk will then be distributed after the masses in the Narthex. The chalk can then be used for traditional Epiphany home blessings.
The Epiphany blessing of chalk and homes is a centuries-old tradition where priests would visit each home in their parish after the Feast of the Epiphany. Over time, it became an accepted tradition that a member of the household is able to lead this blessing in place of the priest. The traditional date of Epiphany is January 6, but in the United States it is celebrated on the Sunday between January 2 and January 8.
“Chalking the door” is a way to celebrate and literally mark the occasion of the Epiphany and God’s blessing of our lives and home. With time the chalk will fade. As it does we let the meaning of the written symbols sink into the depths of our heart and be manifest in our words and actions the Latin words: Christus mansionem benedictat, “May Christ bless the house.”
Using the blessed chalk mark the lintel of your front door (or front porch step) as follows:
20 + C + M + B + 20 while saying: The three Wise Men, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar followed the star of God’s Son who became human two thousand and twenty years ago. May Christ bless our home and remain with us throughout the new year. Amen.
Then offer the following prayer: Visit, O blessed Lord, this home with the gladness of your presence. Bless all who live or visit here with the gift of your love; and grant that we may manifest your love to each other and to all whose lives we touch.
May we grow in grace and in the knowledge and love of you; guide, comfort, and strengthen us in peace, O Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen