Blessing of church doors

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I’m wanting to do a blessing of the church doors this coming weekend. As an Associate Pastor the past three years we always did this before the opening hymn, with chalk of course, and a fine text but I’m not sure of it’s origins. Now as Administrator of my parish I’d like to the same thing but I’m wondering how best to do this and what text to use. I see in the Book of Blessings a blessing a for a home during Christmas. Perhaps there are options. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


A: You have found all that the liturgical books in the US have to offer. The USCCB has a shorter version of that same blessing in its book Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers. It’s findable on their web site too. The long tradition of this blessing is that it takes place over the doorways of homes, rather than churches.

I have a copy of the German book of blessings, the Benediktionale. It includes a longer blessing ceremony for use at home. It includes a blessing of the chalk to be used. The marking of the door with 20+C+B+B+22, for example, takes place at the end.

I think you could use the blessing for a home, consider your church a “home” for the community, and conclude the ceremony with the traditional marking with chalk.