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The word ‘epiphany’ means “revelation” or “manifestation.” As Christians, we celebrate Jesus’ birth on Christmas day and throughout the twelve days of Christmas. The feast of Epiphany is held on January 6, on the 12th night. On that night, we remember the story of the magi coming from the east, worshiping Jesus as the savior, and ‘returning to their homes another way’ to spread the good news of the divine revelation in Jesus to all of humanity. It’s a time for wonder, for marveling at the stars, for dreams, and for following our hearts.
As a way to remember and mark the Epiphany in your hearts and homes this year, consider participating in the ancient tradition of “chalking the door.” It’s a way of marking the new year and the celebration of the return of the light by using a set of numbers and letters to mark the threshold to your home to invite God’s blessings on all who enter this year. The blessing looks like this:
The numbers change each year to reflect the new calendar year. The letters C, M, and B are given two meanings: the initials of the traditional names of the three magi, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, and the initials of the Latin phrase Christus Mansionem Benedicat,which means, “Christ bless this dwelling.” The + signs are for the Cross of Christ.
Before, during, or after the chalking of the door, the following prayer might be offered:
O God of Stars and Journeys, we ask your blessing on this threshold. May all whose journeys lead them through these doors be blessed with health, generosity of spirit, a joyful heart, and deep peace. O God of Welcome, may all who enter this doorway rejoice to find Christ living among us, and may we seek and serve, in everyone we meet, that same Jesus who is the incarnate Word, now and forever. Amen.
If you chalk your door on Epiphany/12th Night, please consider sending a photo for us to share on our Grace Church social media accounts! Email the photo to Jennifer Williams.