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Reflections from Pastor Steve

“Chalking the Door”

 

Start the new year by “Chalking the Door” and making it an annual family tradition. On the eve of the Epiphany, Jan. 5 (or Jan. 6) gather the family and friends at the front door to your home for prayers as you ask God to bless those who live, work or visit your home this next year.

“Chalking the Door” tradition has its roots in the Exodus and the instruction by Moses to the Israelites to mark their doors with blood so the angel of death will pass over their home. “Chalking the Door” is an invitation to God to be present and to bless the home and those therein.

“Chalking the Door” can become a tradition that helps each of us live our faith and witness to others in this outward sign our commitment to Christ. Our faith grows within our homes where we pray and read scripture daily.

As you pass through the door and observe the marks you will be reminded that you belong to Christ and will do as Magi did, seek Jesus.

Follow these liturgical instructions:

  1. Gather the family and friends at the front door on “Twelfth Night” or “the Eve of Epiphany” January 5 or on Epiphany, January 6.
  2. If you live alone, invite friends to your home for this rite.
  3. Bring a piece of chalk, any color.
  4. Determine where the door will be chalked and at the time of the chalking invite several to each chalk one of the letters, numbers or signs.
  5. Test the chalk on the door, it should eventually wear off.
  6. Provide each present with the liturgy or pass this copy around to each person present

Liturgy and Prayers for Chalking the Door

Leader: Peace be to this house, and to all who enter here.

People: And to all who dwell therein, Amen.

All: From the east came the Magi to Bethlehem to adore the Lord; and opening their treasures they offered precious gifts: gold for the great King, incense for the true God, and myrrh in symbol of His burial.

All pray:  My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.

During the Magnificat, the room may be sprinkled with water blessed with these baptismal words: “In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.”  After this is completed,

All: From the east came the Magi to Bethlehem to adore the Lord; and opening their treasures they offered precious gifts: gold for the great King, incense for the true God, and myrrh in symbol of His burial.

One or more of the following prayers maybe said:

May all who come to our home this year rejoice to find Christ living among us; and may we seek and serve, in everyone we meet, that same Jesus who is your incarnate Word, now and forever. Amen.

God of heaven and earth, you revealed your only-begotten One to every nation by the guidance of a star. Bless this house and all who inhabit it. Fill us with the light of Christ, that our concern for others may reflect your love. We ask this through Christ our Savior. Amen.

Loving God, bless this household. May we be blessed with health, goodness of heart, gentleness, and abiding in your will. We ask this through Christ our Savior. Amen.

As participants take turns making the inscription, the leader says:

The initials of the Magi are inscribed upon the doors with chalk. (The initials, C, M, B, can also be interpreted as the Latin phrase “Christus mansionem benedicat” which means “Christ bless this house”.)

Example: 20 + C + M + B + 18

The three Wise Men, [C] Caspar, [M] Melchior, [B] and Balthasar followed the star to Bethlehem and the child Jesus [20] two thousand, [18] and eighteen years ago. [+ +] May Christ bless our home [+ +], and remain with us throughout the new year. Amen.

All pray the Lord’s Prayer.