Epiphany Blessing of Chalk

Published Wed, 29/12/2021 by

The Church has a custom of blessing homes on the Feast of the Epiphany.  Family and friends gather to ask God’s blessing on their homes and those who live in or visit the home.  It is an invitation for Jesus to be a daily guest in our home, our comings and goings, our conversations, our work and play, our joys and sorrows.

A traditional way of doing this is to use chalk blessed during the liturgy for the Feast of Epiphany and write above the home’s entryway, 20 + C + M + B + 22.  The letters C, M, B have two meanings.  They are the initials of the traditional names of the three magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar.  They also abbreviate the Latin words Christus mansionem benedicat, “May Christ bless the house.”  The “+” signs represent the cross and 2022 is the year.

The blessing has biblical roots, deeply tied to the Passover in the book of Exodus.

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt … “take some of the blood [of the lamb], and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat them.  They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it …  The blood shall be a sign for you, upon the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall fall upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.” (cf. Exodus 12:1-13)

It is no coincidence that the Epiphany blessing is traditionally written on the lintel of the main doorway and even some of the prayers echo God’s words of protection that he gave to Moses. 

Prayer of blessing of the chalk

Bless, + O Lord God, this creature, chalk,

and let it be a help to mankind.

Grant that those who will use it with faith

in your most holy name,

and with it inscribe on the doors of their homes

the names of your saints, Casper, Melchior, and Baltassar,

may through their merits and intercession

enjoy health in body and protection of soul.

Through Christ our Lord.


The chalk is then sprinkled with Holy Water and distributed after Mass.  Parishioners then take the chalk home and use it while invoking God’s blessing upon their home.

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