12 Days of Christmas

Day 12 - Chalking the Door

On the Epiphany you'll notice many churches and Catholic homes will have some writing above the doorway chalked on the stone above the entrance way. The one for this year will say:


20 + C + M + B + 16


It's quite obvious what the 20 and 16 mean as when you put them together you get the year we are entering into but what about the letters? Well they can actually be interpreted in two different ways...

First Meaning

The letters C + M + B represent the initials of the Three Wise Men who came to see baby Jesus at the stable after following the star that led them there. Their names were Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar so clearly the three letters can represent them and they day they arrived at the stable.

Second Meaning

The letters are also an abreviation of Christus Mansionem Benedicat which when translated means May Christ bless this house with the + sign representing the cross. Since this writing is chalked above or near an entrance way to homes and churches then that would also be a good explanation.
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