Monday, January 19, 2009

Christ, bless this mansion

Here is a belated view of the Matkin home from the feast of the Epiphany, the doorpost having been inscribed with the traditional blessing. There is an old tradition in which a priest blesses chalk for the people of the parish on the Epiphany, which the people take home and write above their doors the following:

2 0 + C + M + B + 0 9

It is the year, split by the initials of the traditional names of the Kings of the East: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. It also stands for Christus Mansionem Benedicat, which means “Christ, bless this home.” The inscription remains above the door until Whitsunday (the Feast of Pentecost).

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