Chalking of the Door at Epiphany

Thank you to Sarah for the pictures taken at the January family service in 2017. Father Mark chalks the entrance to St Giles Church.

Epiphany (also known as Twelfth Night, Theophany, or Three Kings Day) marks the occasion of a Christian tradition of ‘chalking the doors.’ The following is written above the doorway: 20+C+M+B+17 (for 2017).

The letters have two meanings. First, they represent the initials of the Magi — Caspar, Malchior, and Balthazar — who came to visit Jesus in His first home. They also abbreviate the Latin phrase, Christus mansionem benedicat: ‘May Christ bless the house.’ The ‘+’ signs represent the cross, and the ’20’ at the beginning and the ’17’ at the end mark the year. Taken together, this inscription is performed as a request that Christ bless those homes so marked throughout the year.