Join us at 6:30 p.m. January 6 in our historic chapel “Little St. Anne’s” for our annual Epiphany Mass, followed by a spaghetti dinner in the Parish Hall.
Epiphany celebrates the light of the star of Bethlehem, the finding of Jesus by the Magi, and the manifestation of God in Christ to the world. Accordingly, this service begins in darkness and moves to light as candles and lamps are lit on the altar and in the congregation. This year’s service will also include a baptism. Two unique traditions in this service are the Proclamation of the Date of Easter and the Blessing of Chalk.
Proclamation of the Date of Easter
In the days before the ubiquitous use of printed calendars, it was important for people to hear the date of the forthcoming Easter and all moveable feasts attached to it. Though technically unnecessary now in the age of smart phones and digital calendars, the Proclamation of the Date of Easter still stands as a reminder that time is holy, and that our very lives are formed by the seasons, feasts, and fasts we celebrate in the Christian year.
Blessing of Chalk
In accordance with old tradition, chalk is blessed at the service, then taken home and used by parishioners to inscribe a blessing over the main doorway to their homes. The inscription used is 20 + C + M + B + 15. The numbers represent the new year. The initials dividing the year represent the legendary names of the Magi—Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar—and also stand for the Latin motto: Christus mansionem benedicat, “May Christ bless this house.” The crosses represent the protection of Christ. The prayers accompanying the inscription are:
Lord God of heaven and earth, you revealed your only-begotten Son to every nation by the guidance of a star: May your blessing be upon this house and all who inhabit it, that those who visit our home in this new year may rejoice to find Christ living among us; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The three Wise Men,
[B] and Balthasar
followed the star of God’s Son who became human
 two thousand
 and fifteen years ago.
[++] May Christ bless our home
[++] and remain with us throughout the new year. Amen.
From this day forward, may we be ever mindful that Christ is incarnate in our daily lives: in the love we manifest to one another, and in the care we render to guests and strangers alike. Amen.