Today is Epiphany, when we celebrate the visit of the Magi (Three Wise Men / Kings) to the Christ child….
In January 2015, I was visiting one of my CMS-UK Link Churches, St. Andrew’s Church, Tudhoe Grange, Spennymoor, Co. Durham and they had introduced a practice of Epiphany House Blessings (Chalking The Door) into the parish. They had one on their own church door. It was completely new to me, so when I left, the vicar gave me my own envelope with chalk (chalk reminds us that we are made from the dust of the earth) and information paper inside – the same as he had given to all the church members for them to write on their own homes.
Fast forward to today, and this is my own house blessing – in the pouring rain!
The doorway is marked with CMB, the initials of the Magi, and 2018, the numerals of the new year, connected with crosses, thus; ’20+C+M+B+18′: The legendary names of the Magi are Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar ~ and CMB also stands for Christus Mansionem Benedicat, ‘May Christ bless this house’.
‘In this ritual, we mark our doors with chalk as a sign that we have invited God’s presence and blessing into our homes, and to remind us that Christ is incarnate in the love and care we show each other in our ordinary daily lives together.’