Chalk it up to an Epiphany house blessing


Maybe it’s because I’m reading more Catholic blogs, but this year I noticed a few bloggers mentioning marking their doorways with chalk on the Feast of the Epiphany for a house blessing. I had never heard of this tradition.

Around here we can use all the blessings we can get. And I do love involving the children in activities that make their Catholic faith accessible and fun.

So we took a box of white chalk with us to church. Fr. Gene Nickol, who celebrated the Mass we attended, not only encouraged people to bless their homes with chalk in his homily, but he was also happy to bless our chalk, which Daniel handed to him after Mass.

Father also sent a blessing for patience our way as we walked away, so I suspect he noticed that we had had a rough morning in our attempt to attend Mass as a family.

Back at home, we pulled out our stepladder and sent Leo to the top with a piece of chalk. Because he wasn’t confident about his number-writing, we opted for Roman numerals.

As I read him his instructions—thanks to The Catholic Review’s Review in the Pew—Leo carefully wrote, “MM C + M + B XIII” on the bricks beside our door.

Then, unprompted, he added a high-speed bullet train illustration below the blessing. And Daniel scrawled a few “letters” on the front stoop.

When I planned this in my mind, I imagined we would all stand together on the porch saying the prayer. And, it did begin that way. But by the end of the very brief prayer, John and I were standing alone, and our sons had departed by another way, racing together down the hill into our backyard.

I hope you and your family have enjoyed many blessings during this Christmas season and that the Christmas star is still shining brightly in your homes.

Joining Theology Is a Verb and Reconciled to You for Worth Revisit Wednesday on Jan. 6, 2016.

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