Chalk it up on Epiphany

A happy and blessed feast of the Epiphany to you. There is a tradition, which seems to have arisen in central Europe in the Middle Ages, of blessing chalk at Epiphany, which is then used by families to mark the doorways of their homes. It is, near the New Year, a prayer for and celebration of Christ’s blessing. This tradition is becoming increasingly common everywhere, and among many denominations.

What surprised me, on looking for texts to use, is that there don’t seem to be that many around. So in this short Epiphany post, I thought I would first of all summarise the practice, and then provide a simple form of prayer, both for the chalk blessing, and then the prayers at home.

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The Christmas cycle

This post is in the series Rite Reading.

In a previous post I offered a general outline of the church calendar, as two cycles of seasons standing out from the ordinary passage of the year. Today I focus on the first of those, the Christmas cycle.

At present the ways the Christmas cycle is organised differs slightly between the Roman Catholic lectionary and the Revised Common Lectionary, on the one hand, and the Church of England’s lectionary on the other, by extending the post-Christmas celebration. This means there are two ways of constructing the Christmas cycle. The illustration is of the Church of England’s.

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