Tuesday, April 15, 2014

20 C+M+B 14 Means?

20 C+M+B 14 is wriiten above the door of the chapel at the Kronsburg Cloister where we are staying near Zams, Austria. 

We saw the same chalk written inscription above my husband's cousin's home in Germany. I asked her the significance of the numbers and letters and remember that she said something about a collection made by children on Epiphany (January 6-- the 12th day of Christmas). The notations were probably made to make sure no one else came by to "collect."

But I decided to Google this inscription, since the only part I could understand was the 14 (signifying 2014).

I found one site that explained that this chalk inscription signified a blessing on the home. No reference to a collection of any kind.

"20 and 14 being the year, C (K), M, B being the intitials of the traditional names of the wise men, Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, they can also stand for Christus Mansionem Benedicat, the Latin words meaning, May Christ bless this home." (http://stchrysostoms.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/20-c-m-b-14-blessing-of-homes/)

According to a Question and Answer forum of Fodor's Travel (http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/what-does-20cmb13-mean.cfm) I found the following two responses:

"Each year on the wonderful Feast of the Epiphany chalk is blessed at Church and people are invited to take some home and mark their homes with a prayer for blessing. The priests are also very happy to visit homes and do the blessing. Seeing the marking at the door is a gentle reminder of God’s blessing, and a sign to all of a Christian home.

"Using chalk either above the door, outside, or at the side of the door, outside or inside, the markings 20 + C + M + B + 13 are made, or (20+K+M+B). 20 and 12 being the year, C (K), M, B being the intitials of the traditional names of the wise men, Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, they can also stand for Christus Mansionem Benedicat, the Latin words meaning, May Christ bless this home."


"These inscriptions are neither done by a priest nor by the inmates of the houses themselves, but by the Star Singers. Every year around Epiphany the catholic church does this campaign: groups of children dress up as the Three Magi and their entourage. They are then blessed at church and sent out to visit houses, sing their songs, bring the blessing to the houses, and collect donations for charity. This campaign takes place all over the country under the patronage of the Federal President."

So there seems to have been some collection for charity after all at Hub's cousin's house.

You learn something everyday. But most of the time you have to leave your seat. 

Or open the World Wide Web ;))))


Paulette said...

When I was in Germany I saw the same inscription on many church door, thanks for the explanation.

Anonymous said...

or both

Mrs. Micawber said...

This is delightful! Thanks so much for writing about it.

Hope you are having a good time over there - and that spring is surrounding you with flowers. We got SNOW the other night and today it barely got above freezing. Ugh. :)

Colleen Glaser said...

I think I saw this "equation" on the PARCC test this week at school!