Tag Archives: Blessing of Chalk

Blessing of Chalk


Christmas-related themes, very present in Gil ...

Gil Vicente’s Epiphany

On this feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, the Church teaches us that this is a yet another important the manifestation of the Eternal Incarnate Word of God. Since we Catholics view creation with a particular lens, that is a sacramental lens, it is traditional for the priest to bless chalk and incense today; most often you see this blessing in the Polish Catholic community but it’s a really a catholic custom for all people.

We can note two meanings of the letters of inscription. First, the initials of the traditional names of the Three Magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. Second, the letters abbreviate the Latin words Christus mansionem benedicat. May Christ bless the house.” Hence, the purpose of the blessing is to manifest Grace. The recalling that the Magi were the first of the nations to recognize the Divine Infant as the King of the Nations, and to acknowledge that we seek the face of God. The blessing and imposition of chalk reminds us that God is the origin of all blessings of our home and life.

By placing the crosses with the Epiphany inscription we remember that with the Incarnation there is also the Paschal Mystery.

As it noted by students of culture, the Epiphany inscription is made above the front door, so that all who enter and depart this year may enjoy God’s blessing. “The month of January still bears the name of the Roman god Janus, the doorkeeper of heaven and protector of the beginning and end of things. This blessing of “christens” is the ancient Roman observance of the first month. The inscription is made of chalk, a product of clay, which recalls the human nature taken by the Adorable and Eternal Word of God in the womb of the Virgin Mary, by the power of the Holy Spirit” (MDK).

To bless your home this Epiphany, first read the Prologue of Saint John’s Gospel, followed by the Our Father, and the following Collect; then write the inscription for this year above your front door with blessed chalk.

Blessing of Chalk

V. Our help is the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

Bless, O Lord God, this creature chalk to render it helpful to Thy people. Grant that they who use it in faith and with it inscribe upon the doors of their homes the names of Thy saints, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, may through their merits and intercession enjoy health of body and protection of soul. Through Christ our Lord.

And the chalk is sprinkled with Holy Water.

Epiphany Inscription over the Doorway of the Home

20 + C + M + B + 13

Blessing of Homes on Epiphany

C+M+BRead the Gospel narrative of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-9) from the Family Bible.

Using chalk blessed by the priest, write above the entry way:

20 + C +M + B + 10

Let us pray.

Peace be to this house and all who live here. During these days of the Christmas season, we keep this feast of Epiphany. Through the guidance of a star, the coming of Jesus was made known to the Gentiles. We celebrate Christ made known to the Magi, to John in the River Jordan, and to the disciples at the wedding at Cana.

Today Christ is made known to us! Today this home is a holy place! The Magi came from the east to Bethlehem to adore the Lord.  “They went into the house, and when they saw the child with His mother Mary, they knelt down and worshipped him.They brought out their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, and presented them to Him.” [Matthew 2:11]

Bow our heads and pray for God’s blessing . . .

Lord our God, bless our home and all who live here. May we be filled with health, goodness of heart, gentleness, obedience to Your law, and thanksgiving to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Help us love and respect one another and make your presence known by the way we care for others. May this blessing remain upon this house and upon all who live here. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

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The blessing of the home is an Epiphany custom. Chalk blessed by the priest on Epiphany is given to the faithful to mark their entrance door with the current year and with the inscription C+M+B, the initials of Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, the traditional names of the Magi (as above). In addition to remembering the Magi, the inscription means for the Latin phrase Christus Mansionem Benedicat, which means “Christ, bless this home.”

Blessing of Chalk on Epiphany


Magi detail Bottocelli.jpgEpiphany inscription over the doorway of the home:

20 + C + M + B + 09

The letters have two meanings. They are the initials of the traditional names of the Three Magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. All three revered as saints and honored in the Munich cathedral. We abbreviate the Latin words “Christus mansionem benedicat” (“May Christ bless the house”). The letters recall the day on which the inscription is made, as well as the purpose of blessing.

The crosses represent the protection of the Precious Blood of Christ, whom we invoke, and the holiness of the Magi who adored of the infant Jesus. The inscription is made above the front door, so that all who enter and depart this year may enjoy God’s blessing. The month of January bears the name of the Roman god Janus, the doorkeeper of heaven and protector of the beginning and end of things. This blessing “christens” the ancient Roman observance of the first month.

Blessing of Chalk

V. Our help is the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.

Let us pray.

Bless, O Lord God, this creature chalk to render it helpful to your people. Grant that they who use it in faith and with it inscribe upon the doors of their homes the names of your saints, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, may through their merits and intercession enjoy health of body and protection of soul. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

And the chalk is sprinkled with Holy Water.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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