Epiphany House Blessing with Chalk (Symbols For 2022)

The Epiphany house blessing of the door is a really great Catholic tradition for families. We love to bless our door every year on the Epiphany! It’s very simple to do, it’s not complicated or scary, and you can do it yourself. All you need is a piece of chalk! You can take your piece of chalk to mass with you on the Epiphany and have your priest bless it, or you can bless the chalk yourself. I will show you exactly what do write and how to do the Epiphany house blessing with chalk. Keep reading if you want to start this tradition with your family. 

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What Is The Epiphany House Blessing?

It’s a specific blessing for the home that is traditionally done each year on the Solemnity of the Epiphany (also known as 3 Kings Day or Twelfth Night) that is done on the front door of the house and uses symbols drawn with blessed chalk. This is called the chalking the door, and is practiced by many Christians including Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, and more! 

Do I Have To Have Blessed Chalk For An Epiphany Blessing?

Some parishes will have baskets of chalk out for blessing your home on the Epiphany, but it’s ok if your parish didn’t! If you think ahead, you can bring your piece of chalk with you to mass and ask your priest to bless it, or you can bless the chalk yourself.

 Click here for the blessing of the chalk.

What Color Of Chalk Should I Use For My Epiphany Blessing?

The kind and color of the chalk is not important- the blessing is what’s important! This year I actually used a piece of the kid’s sidewalk chalk, and it worked beautifully!

Who Can Conduct The Epiphany Door Blessing? Do I Need A Priest?

You absolutely don’t need a priest to do this. Can you imagine your parish priest driving from home to home on the Epiphany? I think with the size of most parishes these days, he would need to have the powers of Santa Clause to accomplish this!

The link I’m going to share below says to have a pries or the father of the family bless the home, but anyone that is the spiritual leader of the family would be a great choice to do this! If the spiritual leader of your family is not present at the time of the blessing, then anyone who makes since to be the “leader” is a great choice. When my family does this, I lead the prayer. 

Where Do I Put The Chalk Symbols?

The “lintel” of the door is where this is the most traditional, which was historically the horizontal piece above the door.

This tradition has biblical roots going back to the story of Moses in the Bible when the Israelites were asked to put the blood of a lamb or goat on the doorposts and above the doors of the houses. 

“The blood on the doorposts will be a sign to mark the houses in which you live. When I see the blood, I will pass over you and will not harm you when I punish the Egyptians.” Exodus 12:13

So anywhere around the front door of the home is a great choice! We usually do this at the top of our door on the outside, but I have seen it done anywhere on the door, and also on the inside of the home as well. 



When Do We Chalk Our Home?

Well to say “on the Epiphany” would be simplifying. Traditionally there are 12 days of Christmas, and then the Epiphany happens on January 6. However, most of the diocese in the United States move the Epiphany to the closest Sunday, making it a different day than January 6 most years. You can bless your house on either the day your parish celebrates the Epiphany, or on the traditional Epiphany, which is January 6. It’s up to you!

How Do We Do The Epiphany Blessing?

Catholic Culture has some great directions about how to bless your home for the Epiphany, so I’m going to share that. It does say this blessing is to be performed by a priest or the father of the family, but the spiritual leader of the household is the perfect fit for this, regardless of who it is. 

Click here for the actually blessing you pray to bless your home.

What Symbols Do I Use On The Door?

Well, the symbols change each year, but here is the short answer for 2022:

For 2022 this is what you will write on your door in chalk:

20 + C + M + B + 22

What Do The Epiphany Door Symbols Mean? 

The Epiphany door blessing includes symbols for all 3 kings, plus the numbers from the current year. 

Here’s what the chalked numbers on the door mean: The first number “20″ is for the first 2 numbers of the year, and the last number “22” is for the last 2 numbers of the year.

Here’s what the chalked letters on the door mean:

The 3 letters are the first Initial of each of the kings (Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar). 

The “C, M, B also stands for the Latin blessing Christius Mansionem Benedicat which means “May Christ Bless this House”.

 
 
This is a tradition my family started back in 2011 (as you can see above!) and we love doing this year after year! Side note: I miss my purple front door. 🙂 I hope you family cherishes this tradition as much as ours does. 

More Epiphany Resources For Families

By the way, for those of you who don’t already know, I’m totally obsessed with purple. Hence the color of our front door. 🙂

Be sure to check out all of my posts about celebrating the Epiphany with your Catholic family here

Comments

  1. Purple is also the color of money

  2. Michael Pritchett says

    Great explanation!
    How long should we leave it for?
    How do we get the chalk off again please?

  3. Thank you for sharing blessing of chalk. Glad we can do without priest as things are still abnormal here. Appreciate all your resources and great ideas.

  4. Sebastiana says

    Thank you for this information. How long are we supposed to leave it on the door?

  5. Is it too late if you forget and do it the next day & can you use something else if you don’t have any chalk ?

    • Better late than never when it comes to blessing your home! Perhaps you could look up a simple recipe for chalk paint- I’m pretty sure you can make it with ingredients from your kitchen. You could even use a dry erase marker if you have glass elements on your door. In that case I would say also sprinkle holy water on the door.

  6. Hi Ms. Lacy,
    Thank you for this information. Yes, better late than never. My friend Cha, share this epilhany blessing and i found your explaination well substantiated. May i ask, can i also use this chalk in my car? Thank you, and sending more peace and joy to you and the entire fam. 🙂 Arlene

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