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With the new year comes the opportunity to once again participate in the ritual of chalking the door - traditionally done on January 5, the eve of Epiphany, or on Epiphany itself. That said, doing it a few days one way or the other works, too!

Chalk is used to mark the area just above the outside of one's front door. Write 20+C+B+M+21; the '20' and the '21' are for the year 2021, and the C, M and B carry two meanings. They are the initials of the traditionally known magi - Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar - and they also stand for Christus Mansionem Benedicat, Latin for “May Christ Bless this House.” 

A simple prayer one can say while chalking the door is this (chalk marks in bold):

The three Wise Men,
C Caspar,
M Melchior,
B and Balthasar followed the star of God’s Son who became human
20 two thousand
21 and twenty-one years ago.
++May Christ bless our home
++and remain with us throughout the new year. Amen.

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.