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