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Author Topic: House Blessing  (Read 6445 times) Average Rating: 0
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Mary
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« on: December 26, 2003, 11:33:03 PM »

It's almost time for House Blessings.  Since I have never had a priest bless our house before, this will be a first.  How do I prepare and what to expect?

Mary
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2003, 01:57:50 AM »

I am writing from memory and personal experience, not from any book or canons, so please excuse any errors.

You should place an icon on the kitchen or diningroom table with a lighted candle before it. If you have Holy Water, that should also be available on the table. If you don't have the Holy Water, the priest will certainly have some.

You should also prepare a list of family members - living and departed - for whom you wish the priest to offer prayers. Place that on the table, as well.

There is a brief house blessing service that you and the priest will perform. Then you (or your husband) will take the lighted candle and lead the priest through the house, room by room. The priest will bless each room with Holy Water.

The service will then conclude.

It is customary to offer the priest some of the hospitality of your house (food and drink) and, if you can afford it, perhaps a monetary offering (not absolutely essential).

I'm sure someone will correct me if I left anything out.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2003, 02:01:43 AM by Linus7 » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2003, 09:40:57 AM »

Linus and Vicki have given great advice.  We have a good system in our parish - every year we divide everyone's house into quadrants and on four successive sundays the priest goes through each quadrant, ending up at a house where we have a dinner party.  Everyone from the parish is invited to go bless houses with the priest.  Makes for a very festive time of year.
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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2003, 11:43:29 AM »

Vicki said
Quote
If basil is unavailable,  some priests say any green plant, some priests (OCA) may have an actual litutgical item for this, that the GOA does not,

I think what Vicki is refering to is the holy water sprinkler. It is a ball shaped metal object with a long tube sticking out the top that has a small opening to allow the water to come out in small increaments. It looks like this...


I actually know more GOA and Antiochian preist who uses this then OCA priest. What it comes down to is what the priest prefers to use and feels is best so as several people have said, just ask the priest what you need when you call to confirm your appointment.
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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2003, 11:59:34 AM »

That holy water sprinkler is absolutely beautiful!

I know that soon in the bulletin there will be some reference to house blessings and what is needed.

Okay...tell me about the white cloth.  I know that was on the list.  What does the white cloth look like?

Was there an icon on the table as well?  Which one?  I know my husband and I placed one on our table when we a our own blessing.  Last year we did use basil, before we used a paint brush!  Maybe that's why I had lots of house repairs that year!!! Cheesy

Since the priest will no doubt want to eat, is it acceptable to offer to take him to a restaurant?  My husband use to take his priest out to eat.  It might be more relaxing, especially for me.    Smiley   If anyone from the community sees an Orthodox priest, they might the realize, we aren't making up Orthodoxy! Wink

Mary
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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2003, 01:53:10 PM »

Vicki

Light dawns - I know what you mean - but I haven't a clue what it's called - we use it for sprinkling the Congregation after the Renewal of Baptismal vows - though sometimes it is branches of greenery too

Hey we aren't so different from you after all  Grin Grin Grin
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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2003, 02:23:20 PM »

Speaking of sprinkling with water - do any of you lot have a sprinkling with blessed water at the end of each liturgy. It's v. big in the COP.

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« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2003, 06:04:15 PM »

it's only done with us at the Easter Masses when we are all sprinkled with the newly Blessed Water when we renew our Baptismal promises - and Vicki it's great to hear a church with over 1000 present all doing this.

 Vicki what I had meant and you knew this I am sure , was that the 'sprinkler' thing was apparently the same that you use
<<Nope, not that...this looks more like a small whisk for beating off flies>>
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« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2003, 12:44:23 AM »

The device Arimathea posted a photograph of is called an aspergillium, at least that is the latin name for it.

Our priest uses a bundle of twigs tied together that looks like one of those bamboo whisks that comes with a wok set.
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« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2003, 12:50:35 AM »

That sounds similar to what my priest has, and those shaving brushes aren't old fashioned, I use them myself! Cheesy
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« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2003, 02:30:48 AM »

I'll ask Fr. Marcus tomorrow.  He also has a liturgical paintbrush with a cross on the end that he uses for anointings at Lityas. Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2003, 08:07:18 PM »

All I could find for a name for a brush is Holy Water Sprinkler located at the web address I pasted in here.  Now, I would have pasted a picture and I did try but when I went to Preview, I didn't see a picture so I thought...I blew it!  

http://www.holoviak.com/acatalog/Holoviaks_Holy_Water_Sprinklers_72.html

I looked for White Cloths at a House Blessing....some sites mentioned it while others didn't.  There must be some symbolism for it for some churches and for others, none....I guess.

Okay, I have yet another teeny, tiny question regarding House Blessings.  Ready?  Here goes....

When the icons are on the dining room table, are the backs of the icons to the East thus making the front of the icon facing West?  I know my icon corner is suppose to be in the East, but when I moved to this house I was not Orthodox, therefore, I have windows on the east side of my house.

Mary
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« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2003, 08:45:30 PM »

Vicki,

That was what you were looking for?  All right....do I win a prize?   Cheesy

Mary

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« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2003, 09:10:12 PM »

Quote
for all its bucks, GOA does NOT have a paintbrush thingy  

Maybe YOUR part of the GOA doesn't Wink

Saint Anthony's has one but the actually brush part is much smaller than the one pictured in this thread.  When I was annointed with oil from the lamp over the icon of the Nativity this was used...
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« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2003, 09:19:04 PM »

You are correct about my parish...TAKE BACK THE GOA!
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« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2003, 09:46:39 PM »

Brat. That is a monastery.  Bet your parish church uses Q-tips or cotton balls for the efhelion on Holy Wednesday like the rest of the GOA.  Angry

Vicki's right about the Q-tip thing in my old GOA parish, at least.
The ACROD parish I attend now uses a gorgeous glass (or crystal dowel) with a "gold" handle and a matching cup for anointing - very pretty. Now I'll have to find out its name.

Demetri
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« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2003, 11:42:17 PM »

To Vicki and Others,

I am directly from the Funny Farm myself. It's how I got here.  No, seriously....it's how I got here because almost 6 years ago this coming Saturday, I met my husband online, became Orthodox practically online, and we got married by a monk priest (or is it a priest monk?) who was an online friend of my husband.  Oh, the Funny Farm part....my husband and I are a non-stop comic routine thoroughly convinced that God has such a great sense of humor.  We know we keep the angels and saints in stitches.

Mary
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« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2003, 12:10:00 AM »

Ours......couldn't get married in Canada.  I would had to have left my husband there due to immigration and it would have taken a year or more for him to be able to cross the border.  Oh, the priest monk changed jurisdictions now from when we got married.  Russian to Greek.
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« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2003, 12:31:24 AM »

Beats me!  I only knew him for 3 days.  He was an answer to prayer.
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« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2003, 12:58:46 AM »

Which church in Boston were you a member of?  How long ago?

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« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2003, 07:47:34 AM »

Brat. That is a monastery.  Bet your parish church uses Q-tips or cotton balls for the efhelion on Holy Wednesday like the rest of the GOA.  Angry

Vicki's right about the Q-tip thing in my old GOA parish, at least.

Hey, our church here in Greece uses Q-tips, but we get to take them home afterwards. It would be a bit prohibitive if they were giving every member of the parish a liturgical brush each time we had efhelion Shocked

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« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2003, 09:29:47 AM »

OK guys

Now fill in one of these gaps for me please. Huh

Annointing - really rather rare for us - I was last annointed at my Anglican Confirmation in 1959 and if I remember correctly it was done by the Bishop's thumb tracing the Cross on my forehead.

I know it is done in cases of serious illness for us - but you in the East ?

Annointing - when , where and how ?
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« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2003, 10:13:39 AM »

Anhelyna,

although most people associate annointing with oil with extreme illness, it is actually available for everyone, ill or not.

John.
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« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2003, 12:59:29 PM »

The Slave was wondering about the annointing practices of the EO.

Here is a quick run down.

Annointing during the Vigil service (usually after the Gospel reading) from the oil blessed at the Artiklosia (where Wine, weat, Oil, and sweet bread is blessed).

Annointing at a pilgrimage site from the oil lamp hanging in front of a perticular Icon. NPR on Christmas had a story about the Monestary in Sydnaya Syria that has a famous Icon that is attributed to many mircles. People from all over come to be annointed with the oil from the lamp that hangs in front of this Icon. (I personally know 2 different ladies who doctors said could nat have children who after visiting the shrine and praying where able to get pregnant and have a child.)

Annoiting with Holy Unction, the blessing of Holy Unction takes place on Holy Wed in the Greek and Antiochian parishes and some of the OCA parishes. The annoiting at the end of this service is usally done with a Q-Tip so that it can be taken home to either annoint members of the family not able to attend or days when someone in the family is infirmed. The priest keep the unction from this service to annoint the sick during the year.

There are two annoiting with oils at the baptisim service. The first is with the Oil of gladness right before the dunking in the water. In the greek practice the entire body is coated with oil with almost everyone else just annoints key parts of the body. This is done because in the ancient custom a warrior or athlete before he went into battle or compitition was covered in oil so that the enemy would not be able to grab a hold of the person. The second annoiting is with Chrisim as part of the confirmation.

I think this covers every asspect of annoiting with oil found in the EO Church.
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« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2003, 04:03:27 PM »

Hey, here's a question for the house-blessing theme...
On Thanksgiving my dad came down, & we blessed out apartment...  the one thing that we didn't risk doing was lighting the kadila (what is that called in English, the incense swinging thingie?), because of the sprinkler system, though dad wanted too.  Does anyone here know how sensitive those things are, or if they would have withstood some serious incense smoke?  Just curious, since I really love the incense my dad uses, & it woulda been nice to have the apartment smell like a church for a while.
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« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2003, 04:06:53 PM »

When I lived in the apt in Falls Church (not far from you) it never set off the system.
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« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2003, 04:27:13 PM »

Quote
On Thanksgiving my dad came down, & we blessed out apartment...  the one thing that we didn't risk doing was lighting the kadila (what is that called in English, the incense swinging thingie?)

The kadilo (-¦-¦-¦-+-+-+) is called either a censer* or a thurible in English.

*Not to be confused with a censor, the person who warns moviegoers about naughty bits.  Smiley
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« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2003, 04:52:33 PM »

The smoke alarms went off a couple of times at the Hilton in Miami during the Antiochian Archdioces National Convetion this summer. Everyone just sorta looked around and ignored the alarm.
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« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2003, 01:39:19 AM »

Arimethea,
Is that avatar of your's Homer Simpson?  All that flashing red and white gives me the heebee-jeebees.  Especially with "Christ is Risen" right under it?  What gives?
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« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2003, 01:58:02 AM »

Actually, Strobert, I was the one who uploaded that particular avatar, on a day when I was feeling a bit irrepresible.  I see that Arimethea has chosen to adopt it.  It is an animated gif of the Simpons episode where Homer finds out that a corporate icon bearing his face is used to sell detergent in Japan.  The detergent is called Mr. Sparkle.   Here is the text of the commercial:
Quote
A housewife in her kitchen blows a whistle, bringing Mr. Sparkle to life off of his box. He calls to her.

MR. SPARKLE:
I'm disrespectful to dirt! Can you see I
am serious?

Mr. Sparkle hovers over her dirty dishes, releasing sparkles over them. The dishes' grime disappears. Mr. Sparkle floats to the living room, where he bounces over a baby's xylophone. He then appears underwater, where three women are dancing.

MR. SPARKLE:
Get out of my way, all of you! This is no
place for loafers. Join me or die. Can you do any less?


The women stop dancing.

THE WOMEN:
What a brave corporate logo! I
accept the challenge of "Mr. Sparkle."


WOMAN I:
Awsoma power!

Mr. Sparkle blows magic dust over the girls as a graphic of a drumming monkey toy hovers in the upper left of the screen. The dust turns the girls into blue Sumos. The scene changes to a reporter interviewing a two-headed cow.

REPORTER:
Any plans for the summer?


Mr. Sparkle appears and shatters the cow. It's disembodied eyes blink at him. The scene changes to Mr. Sparkle coming at us from an orange background.


MR. SPARKLE:
For lucky best wash, use Mr. Sparkle!
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« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2004, 02:35:29 PM »

Ah, that explains Homer's presence her.  I must admit that the Simpsons, Malcolm in the Middle, and Arrested Development, do make for a humorous Sunday evening.
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« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2004, 11:12:35 AM »

You've probably already had the House Blessing by now, but here's another tip: Don't wax the kitchen floor!!! Our priest was flinging Holy Water around with abandon & almost fell. Other than that, we had a blast! And I sure got the house clean! Grin
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« Reply #32 on: February 16, 2004, 09:10:34 PM »

Nope, the house blessing never happened.  He went geographically this year and said he would contact each member to make arrangements to bless the houses.  He left us out.
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