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Author Topic: What's involved in a house blessing?  (Read 642 times) Average Rating: 0
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kodiak
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« on: July 05, 2011, 12:00:14 PM »

I have never had this performed at my home before.  Does my priest need to inspect my home?  Make sure my icons are appropriate?  Verify I have a prayer corner of some kind?  Do I need to have some refreshment or small gift of appreciation of his efforts available?
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Agabus
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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2011, 12:01:48 PM »

Well, you should at least have an icon around since the house blessing starts at the icon corner, whatever it may be.

And it wouldn't hurt to offer him coffee or tea afterward.
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2011, 12:49:27 PM »

I have never had this performed at my home before.  Does my priest need to inspect my home?  Make sure my icons are appropriate?  Verify I have a prayer corner of some kind?  Do I need to have some refreshment or small gift of appreciation of his efforts available?

Ask him what he is going to do.... if it is the first time ever he may want to bless the house with holy water AND also anoint the outside walls with holy oil.

There's not a huge amount of difference, but once you know it should be easy to find the service on the internet. 

If you're in the Greek Church find the Greek version of the service.

Unless he comes with an assistant, be prepared to carry the bowl of holy water for him around the house, either you or one of your boys.

Some priests expect you to have two lists prepared - the names of family members, living and dead.  They'll include them in a small Litany/Ectenia.

At the very end he'll expect everyone present to come up to him, kiss the Cross in his hand, kiss his hand, and he'll sprinkle you with holy water.
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AWR
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2011, 01:17:17 PM »

Quote
I have never had this performed at my home before.  Does my priest need to inspect my home?  Make sure my icons are appropriate?  Verify I have a prayer corner of some kind?  Do I need to have some refreshment or small gift of appreciation of his efforts available?
Don’t think of blessing your house as some kind of ‘home inspection’; rather think of it as God's sanctification of all things through Christ's epiphany to the world, and His baptism in the River Jordan .
By prayer, and by the sprinkling with the blessed water, the sanctification of your home, is a mystical action, it symbolizes the new creation of the Kingdom of God, in which God fills all things with Himself. In the Orthodox Faith, the household is considered to be sort of a "small church," and the family table is the "home altar" where the people gather each day to receive their "daily bread" from God and with thanksgiving in the Name of Christ.

You should invite your priest annually to ask God to have mercy on your home, to rid it of every evil and to fill it with every blessing. At this time you will pray together for the living and the dead of the household, and of all who live and have lived in the house. You see, the house itself, together with the living persons of the household, are filled with all the fullness of God.

When the priest comes to bless the house and the people, be yourself; don’t worry if your "small church" (home), does not have the trappings of fancy icon corners or whatnot. The purpose is for a blessing. Here are some guidelines that my parish gives out, don’t worry, your priest will have anything you lacking.
1.   A lighted candle, an icon and a wide bowl for the blessed water should be placed on the table.
2.   All radios, television sets, phonographs, etc. should be turned off.
3.   All who are present in the house should come together and stand by the table until the very end of the service.
4.   Those who are able should join in the singing of the hymns and responses of the service.
5.   The first names of those for whom special prayers are to be offered, including of course all members of the family and those living in the house, should be clearly printed on a sheet of paper, with the clear distinction between the living and the dead.
My wife and I always invite out priest to stay for a meal, but we have a very small parish. I understand that at larger parishes the priest must keep to a schedule.
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2011, 02:06:48 PM »

If you have any pets drive them out of the house during the blessing. When my hose was being blessed my cat decided to use the litter box.
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katherineofdixie
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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2011, 03:24:09 PM »

Also be careful about waxing the floors. I waxed my kitchen floor in a frenzy of housewifeliness and the priest slipped and almost fell on my nice clean slippery floor. Cheesy
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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2011, 07:39:54 PM »

If you have young kids who perpetually throw their stuff around, don't worry about getting the house spic and span. Just pick enough stuff up so your priest won't trip! Grin
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