Saturday, January 06, 2007

Epiphany traditions

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There is an old tradition that the priest blesses chalk for the people of his parish on the feast of the Epiphany. The people take the chalk home and write over their front doors:

20 + C + M + B + 07

This is the year split by the initials of the traditional names of the kings of the East: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. Another tradition says "CMB" stands for Christus Mansionem Benedicat, which means, "Christ, bless this home." House blessings are also customary in the Epiphany season. The inscription remains up until Witsunday (the feast of Pentecost). Pictured above is the inscription written with blessed chalk at the Matkin home.

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