LEARN TO LIVE, LIVE TO LEARN
“To know much and taste nothing-of what use is that?” ―St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio
Altar and retablo, Parroquia de San Juan Bautista (Liliw, Laguna)
This is a pretty serious claim that we need to address right away. Saying that Catholics worship statues is based on a grave misunderstanding or complete ignorance of the Biblical facts surrounding statues.
These days, the Epiphany tradition of Chalking the Doors has unfortunately fallen into abeyance to the point where fewer and fewer people even know about it. It is a tradition worth preserving and we must do our part to help with remedial catechesis so young people can take this God-centered practice with them for their families to enjoy when some day they have homes of their own.
It has been a tradition in the Catholic Church to hand out blessed chalk at the Masses for Epiphany, and then use the blessed chalk as part of blessing one’s home in the New Year when the family gather to ask God’s blessing on their home and family life. It is an invitation for Jesus to be a daily guest in our homes.
Instructions for Blessing the Home
Using the blessed chalk, the Father or Head of the Household writes 20 + C + M + B + 22 above the doorways
(2022 for the year; C, M, B for the 3 Magi – Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar – and for "Christus Mansionem Benedicat", Latin for May Christ Bless this House)
The three Wise Men, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar followed the star of God’s Son who became human two thousand and twenty two years ago. May Christ bless our home and remain with us throughout the new year.
Then say the following prayer as a family:
Lord God of heaven and earth, you
revealed your only-begotten Son 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 Lord. Amen.
Allred, Sarah Bentley. “Chalking the Door: An Epiphany Tradition.” Building Faith, 1 Jan. 2011, https://buildfaith.org/chalking-the-door/.
Finnegan, Kevin. Chalking the Door - An Epiphany Blessing.” Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, https://www.olgparish.org/olg-news-events/2019/12/20/chalking-the-doors-an-epiphany-blessing. Accessed 1 Jan. 2022.
Matysek, George Jr. “Chalk Talk: Epiphany Door Blessing Is Symbol of Hope in 2021.” Catholic Review, 23 Dec. 2020, https://catholicreview.org/chalk-talk-epiphany-door-blessing-is-symbol-of-hope-in-2021/.
“Chalking the Doors for Epiphany 2021.” Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, https://www.catholicbishops.ie/2020/12/30/chalking-the-doors-for-epiphany-2021/. Accessed 1 Jan. 2022.
Jeff Jacinto, PhD, DHum