At first I looked around as if I were being viewed through the lens of some creepy dude’s telescope. I clinched my fist getting ready to key someone’s rear if need be. Then I got mad. I mean, who writes on people’s doors?! And what the heck is that? A complicated math problem? A curse? Some secret German symbol writing that lets everyone in town know we are the Americans that should be watched 24/7? Okay, I MAY get a little paranoid sometimes…
Here is what is read exactly: 20 + C + M + B + 12
So apparently this is a blessing, NOT some secret German symbol writing. Hey, you never know. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather be blessed by God than be branded as the idiotic Americans. Actually, I’m pretty sure we’ve already branded ourselves as idiotic Americans.
I had to ask around and do some research, but apparently it is called the Epiphany Chalk Blessing and it is performed by the head of the household on January 6, The Feast of Epiphany. In this part of the world it is a Catholic Holy Day of Obligation, or a religious holiday. Here is what I have found the blessing to mean:
The C, M, and B stand for the names of the three Wise Men:
The numbers are the year split in half 20-13, although ours says 12, so I guess the writing had to have been done last year…but I swear it wasn’t there before! But I could be wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time.
The 3 crosses (I thought they were plusses..lol) stand for a phrase in the blessing: +May Christ +Bless our home +and remain with us +through the new year. Almighty God, incline Thine ear. Bless us and all who are gathered here. Send Thy holy angel who will defend us, and fill with grace all who dwell here. Amen.
The chalk and Epiphany water (holy water, I guess) are blessed at mass and brought home by the family. The water is sprinkled in each room to protect it and bring blessings. Then the chalk is used to write the blessing over the door.
So there you have your tiny German culture lesson for the day! I plan on posting interesting things about it here for your reading enjoyment. You can thank me later. Cheers!