Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Chalking the Doors

Thank you Father Robert for visiting campus today and blessing each classroom and the office with the holy water you brought from the Jordan River. May your blessing bring us health, peace, and joy during 2010!
Since the Middle Ages there has been a tradition in many Christian households that on (or near) the Feast of the Epiphany we pray for God’s blessing on our homes, marking the doorpost (lintel) with chalk (an incarnational image reminding us of the dust of the earth from which we were made). We mark the main door of our home
with the initials of the Magi and the numerals of the new year, connected with crosses: 20 + C + M + B + 10
The initials remind us of the legendary names of the Magi - Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar - and also stand for the Latin motto: Christus mansionem benedicat (May Christ bless this house) In the Book of Exodus, the Israelites marked their doors with blood so that the Lord would pass over their homes; but in this ritual, we mark our doors with chalk as a sign that we have invited God’s presence and blessing into our homes.

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