In our church, on the feast of Epiphany, we write the initials C+M+B over the doorway, what does this stand for or mean?
Epiphany, like Christmas, is celebrated in various ways by different nationalities and cultures. The customs and traditions surrounding these days give them a distinct feel and meaning.
In many Slavic traditions, Epiphany is observed by marking the year on the mantle of the entrance to a room or house. In the center of the year are the initials of the traditional names of the three Wise Men: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. An alternative explanation asserts that the initials stand for the Latin Christus Mansionem Benedicat, “Christ bless this house.” Regardless of the interpretation, the purpose is to ask God’s blessing on the home, marking it as though the Wise Men had come and found therein the Christ Child. It also recalls the marking of the doorways in Egypt with the blood of the lamb so that the angel of death would pass over. God’s blessing comes to each home as a source of protection and grace.