Liturgical traditions--Chalking of the doors.

Chalking of the doors. An Epiphany Tradition.

Epiphany marks the Day on which we celebrate the revelation of God to the Gentiles, which coincides with the visit of the Magi, Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar to the Infant Christ and his  earthly parents, Mary and Joseph. It is also the start of the Calendar New year for the Church.

Travelling from the East, the Three wise Men, followed a star which led them to Christ`s home. They left their homes bearing gifts of Gold,(for  King) Frankincense ( Holiness) and Myrhh ( fragrance for anointing the dead) which indicates that they were somehow aware of the significance of that journey.

Chalking of the doors, mirrors the episode in the Old testament when the Israelites were asked to mark the lintel of their doors with the blood of a lamb so that when the Angel of Death passed over their house their children will be spared.                                                                                                                                            In this instance the Chalking of the Doors welcomes Christ, as well as family, friends and all who visit the home during the year.

Chalk  a naturally occurring element of the earth, is the first writing  instrument of children and is used by teachers to instruct the first graders.

The notation written with Blessed chalk  reads

20 + C + M + B +19

20 represents 2000

Caspar, Melchior Balthazar, the Magi,

19 the year.

++  May Christ Bless our Home.

++ and remain with us throughout the New Year. Amen

These symbols may also translate  into Christus  mansionem benedictus    latin for     

 May Christ bless  this home.


Reference: Notes  from Rev. Andrew Rampton