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Celebration of Epiphany with the Blessing & Distribution of Chalks

Worship at 8 AM, 11 AM, and 6 PM

The blessing and distribution of chalks with which houses are marked with a special logo commemorating the visit of the Magi is an ancient custom that seems to have originated in and spread from Central Europe at the end of the Middle Ages.

On or near the feast of the Epiphany, and conveniently close to the beginning of a New Year, the tradition has been to ask God’s blessing on homes and mark the door post or lintel with chalks that have been blessed for that purpose. The doors are chalked with the initials of the legendary three Magi, and the numerals of the New Year, connected with a series of crosses. The initials C, M, and B commemorate the Magi, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, but also stand for the Latin prayer-request Christus Mansionem Benedicat: “May Christ bless this house.” In this way, the door of a house would be marked as follows: 20+C+M+B+19.

At the beginning of our coffee hour we will bless St. Christopher’s House in this way, but also, chalks and prayers will be available for people to take home. This Epiphany ceremony is a simple but meaningful act of witness which symbolizes Christian willingness to offer hospitality and shelter to the Magi on their journey to Bethlehem, and also, by extension in today’s world, to welcome all and sundry who love or are seeking the Lord’s Christ.