Epiphany Door Chalking Tradition

Epiphany Door Chalking Tradition

Chandler Nazarene Church News

Door chalking is rooted in Old Testament scripture. In Deuteronomy 6, God says:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

This short ceremony, done on the 12th day of Christmas (January 5) or Epiphany (January 6), is a way of inviting God into our homes and asking him to bless the people we encounter throughout the New Year. We mark the front entrance to the home with sacred signs and symbols.

Click to download a PDF of the liturgy and prayers for the ceremony.

  • The chalk represents common elements that God uses in holy ways
  • The + symbol represents the cross
  • The letters, C/M/B represent the three wise men (Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar) -OR- “Cristus Mansionem Benedicat” (Latin for “Christ bless this house”).
  • The numbers at the beginning and the end represent the year (e.g. 2021)

This year, the markings would look like this:

20 ++ CMB++21

We hope you join us by doing this ceremony in your home. If you do, please share a photo to our Facebook page or tag us in a post on your personal page. We would be honored to join you in praying for blessings on your household for the coming year.