Blessing of chalk

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Thank you again for all of your thoughtful answers to questions of all types.

I am hoping you might be able to give some guidance concerning chalk–blessed or not–in the blessing of a home or household.  In the Book of Household Blessings (2007), the rite makes no reference to chalk, and the Book of Blessings contains no blessing for chalk.  Are these tacit directives that the use of chalk should be discouraged or do you think the omission was unintentional?  If the latter, what prayers and in what circumstance (during Epiphany mass, after mass?) would you envision as optimal for the blessing and distribution of chalk?


A: Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers was updated in 2020, but I still don’t see a blessing of chalk or reference to the door. Maybe it just hasn’t caught on so broadly in this country.

In Germany, the Benediktionale does include a blessing of water, salt (optional for the water), chalk and incense at Mass or a vespers service. People take these elements home, where someone reads Matt 7:21, 24-27 or Col 3:12-17. The head of household sprinkles water and incenses the rooms of the house, and then inscribes the traditional mark over the main door of the house. This mark splits the numbers of the year to make room for crosses and the initials of the tradition names of the magi: Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar: 20C+M+B24. The head of household then blesses the family. A pertinent decade of the rosary may follow, as well as a seasonal hymn.