Epiphany at Holy Communion

James Joyce wrote that an Epiphany is when we recognize things as they truly are. When something or someone becomes clear, when “It’s soul, it’s ‘what-ness’ leaps to us from the vestment of its appearance.” On January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, we will have a brief service live from the church and we will bless some chalk.

Starting Wednesday Evening, you’ll be able to pick up blessed chalk in our office entryway on Jackson. We’ll also have little sheets of paper with directions and appropriate prayers for families and roommates. We invite you to literally mark this season with us. You’ll write this over (or near) your door:

20 + C + M + B + 21

If you’re wondering about the strange math, know that the numbers and letters don’t add up to anything. Between crosses (which look like plus signs) and the numbers of the year, the letters CMB stand for the traditional names of the magi (Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar). They also signify the latin words: Cristus Mansionem Bendicat (Christ Bless this House).

For hundreds of years Christians have used chalk to bless their homes for the Epiphany. In a year when so many of us have spent so much more time at home, it seems appropriate to give thanks and to bless the space that has kept us safe. Blessings in Epiphany help us to recognize what our homes have meant to us.

We’ll also include a blessing in our Sunday 10:30am service, when we’ll hear the story of the wise ones following a star. We’ll sing that favorite hymn “we three kings” and wonder what might be uncovered for us this Epiphany season.