Chalking the Doors By: Rev. Will Scott

Chalking the Doors

I had never heard of this tradition before, but I stumbled across an old Epiphany custom in the Book of Common Worship (BCW) called, “Chalking the Doors.” Epiphany, you’ll remember, is the end of the Christmas season when we mark the time the wise men came to visit the child Jesus, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (It’s on January 6, this year a Sunday.)

If you have any Epiphany traditions at your house, I’d be interested in hearing them. The holiday seems to get lost as we cut off Christmastide at the New Year. Now is the season for getting your life in order, setting goals, making resolutions.

Epiphany invites us to stay in the Christmas story a little longer, recognizing that the events of Christmas and the presence of God-with-us matter throughout the year.

What does this have to do with chalking the doors? This tradition is a kind of house blessing. You go outside to your front door and write the year and the letters C, M, and B divide by crosses. It looks like this: 20 + C + M + B + 19. C, M, and B represent Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, the names tradition gives to the wise men who visited Jesus. It also abbreviates the phrase Christus mansionem benedictat or “Christ bless this house.”

I’m not sure this is very Reformed (I’m pretty positive it isn’t). But maybe it can remind us all that God-with-us is with us throughout 2019. So rather than “Happy New Year” I say, “Happy Epiphany.”

The following is a prayer from the BCW that accompanies the practice:

God of doors and homes,

bless this home this year and every year.

Bless all how come and go through this door,

both those who live here and those who visit.

May all who enter through this door

come in peace and bring joy.

May all who come to this door

find welcome and love.

May the love and joy of this home overflow

and spread into the community and the world.

And may Jesus the Christ watch over us all. Amen.



Chalking the Doors By: Rev. Will Scott2021-03-11T11:43:24-05:00

Soprano Choral Scholar Position Open

FPC Dalton Seeks Soprano Choral Scholar

First Presbyterian Church of Dalton, GA (P.C.U.S.A.) is seeking to fill the position of Soprano Choral Scholar to begin in January 2019. Choral Scholars are generally undergraduates or high school students who demonstrate a high proficiency in choral performance, sight reading, and musicianship. Compensation is on a per-call basis with an average of two calls per week (one Wednesday-evening rehearsal and one Sunday-morning service). Additional calls may be added in busier seasons. Choral Scholars supplement the singing and rehearsal of the Adult Choir and occasionally sing in smaller ensembles or solo. Music is integral to the spiritual life at FPC Dalton and the church has a long history of producing high-quality choral music. The choral music varies widely in style but typically accords with traditional church music. Experience in singing with a church choir is preferred and the ability to read music is required. To schedule an audition with Trent Whisenant, Director of Music/Organist, please contact him at or (706) 278-8161.

Soprano Choral Scholar Position Open2020-09-08T16:05:18-05:00
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