Chalking the Door on Epiphany

The word “epiphany” comes from the Greek word “ἐπιφάνεια,” meaning “appearance” or “showing forth.” It names the day that the church tells the story of the magi from foreign lands who follow the light of the star and thus see Jesus as Christ. We celebrated the Epiphany of Our Lord on January 6th.

On January 6th Gloria Dei celebrated Epiphany by chalking the church door together during Worship. Everyone was given a piece of chalk and instructions to chalk their door at home. 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 symbols written 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.”

If you weren’t able to be at church on January 6th here are instructions for chalking your door at home.   Additional packets are available to pick up at church if you wish.

Greeting

May peace be to this house and to all who enter here.  By wisdom a house is built and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. (Proverbs 24:3-4)

Reading

As we prepare to ask God’s blessing on this house, let us listen to the words of scripture.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.

The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. (John 1:1-4, 14, 16)

Inscription

This inscription may be made with chalk above the entrance:

20 ☩ C M B ☩ 19

Write the appropriate character (left) while speaking the text (right):

The magi of old, known as

C             Caspar,

M            Melchior, and

B             Balthasar

followed the star of God’s Son who came to dwell among us

20           two thousand

19           and nineteen years ago.

☩            Christ, bless this house,

☩            and remain with us throughout the new year.

 Prayer of Blessing

O God, you revealed your Son to all people by the shining light of a star. We pray that you bless this home and all who live here with your gracious presence. May your love be our inspiration, your wisdom our guide, your truth our light, and your peace our benediction; through Christ our Lord. Amen.