Chalking the Door

An Advent/Epiphany tradition to share with your family or church group.

On or before the Epiphany, January 6, family and friends (C for "community") gather at the main entrances to homes or apartments and ask God's blessing on their dwellings and on all who live or visit there.

Leadership may be shared with a change of voice at each Leader's part (L).



L:

Peace be to this house and to all who enter here.


L:

A reading from Proverbs: "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures."


L:

Let us pray: Gracious God, as a shining star once guided the magi to the birthplace of the infant Jesus, so enable those who dwell here to be your light in the world; through Jesus Christ we pray.


C:

Amen.



Using chalk, inscribe the horizontal frame above the door with the inscription shown below. The letters C M B come from the traditional (9th century) names for the "three kings"--Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. Some also suggest "Christus Mansionem Benedicat," which means "May Christ bless this dwelling." The numbers stand for the year 2007.



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Each person receives a turn to make one or more of the marks: 20 + C + M + B + 07.



L:

A reading from Isaiah: "The effect of righteousness is peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and quiet places."



People may join hands or extend their hands outward and upward (

orans

) for the prayers.



L:

Let us pray: Sovereign God, we pray that you will bless this home and all who live here with your gracious presence, that your love may be our inspiration, your wisdom our guide, your truth our light, and your peace our benediction; through Jesus Christ we pray.


C:

Amen.


L:

Lord, remember your children and teach us to pray:


C:

Our Father...



People may make the sign of the cross in remembrance of their baptism.



L:

May the Lord watch over our going out and our coming in, from this time forth and forevermore.


C:

Amen.

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