Saturday, January 7, 2012


All family members gather by the main entrance to the family home. The prayer leader offers this prayer:

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation: by the guidance of a star, you led the Magi to your child, and by the light of faith, you bring us to know Christ as Lord, the Messiah you have sent. Bless us as we use this chalk to mark our door in your honor. May the church where these things are used in faith be a house of prayer full of goodness, humility, self-control, mutual respect, hospitality to strangers, and loving obedience to your Word.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then one member marks the lintel above the main door of the home with chalk in the following pattern:

20 † C † M † B † 12

While the door is being marked, another family member may say:

May all who come to our parish church this year rejoice to find Christ living among us; and may we seek out and serve in everyone we meet Jesus who is our Lord for ever and ever. Amen.

There are two explanations for the letters, and both have significance for us. The first is that they are the initials of the legendary Magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. The second is that they abbreviate a Latin phrase: Christus mansionem benedicat, “May Christ bless this dwelling place.”

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