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Author Topic: Blessings in the Home  (Read 1224 times) Average Rating: 0
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patricius
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« on: March 02, 2003, 12:34:07 AM »

Dear Board,

As a Catholic I have been in the habit of tracing a cross on my childrens' heads before bed, sometimes with holy water from the font which hangs on our wall, and praying for God's blessing.  I am curious as to the existence of such customs in the East.  Do Orthodox fathers bless their children in some way, or is this seen as a clerical thing only?  What forms would such "blessings" take, and what accessories, as in the water and gestures, might be employed?  And if such blessings are not commonly employed, then perhaps there is another custom which relates in that way to a father and his children?  Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Patrick
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« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2003, 07:21:09 AM »

Patrick,

The Orthodox do something very similar but like this: a lay person can give a blessing like that with a gesture similar to a priest giving a blessing, except: 1) the person getting the blessing doesn't hold his hands out, 2) the person giving it holds his fingers the same way he does when crossing himself (thumb and two fingers pinched together), not thumb and next-to-little finger crossed like a priest and 3) the recipient doesn't kiss the blessing hand.
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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2003, 05:40:24 PM »

[As a Catholic I have been in the habit of tracing a cross on my childrens' heads before bed, sometimes with holy water from the font which hangs on our wall, and praying for God's blessing.  I am curious as to the existence of such customs in the East.  Do Orthodox fathers bless their children in some way, or is this seen as a clerical thing only?]

I know of some Orthodox Catholics that make the sign of the Cross over the pillow before they place the baby down and then say a short prayer once the baby is placed on the pillow.

There is also a beautiful custom amongst Carpatho Russians (Rusyns) called the 'Parental Blessing' prior to the Betrothal & Wedding ceremonies.  

The couple kneels down before both parents and grandparents (if any) and asks permission to marry.  The parents & grandparents Bless them with Holy Water by making the sign of the Cross above their heads.

This is usually done at home or in the Vestibule of the Church.  It may just be a Lemko custom but my family does it.

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patricius
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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2003, 06:13:10 PM »

Many thanks for the answers.  Very helpful indeed.

Patrick
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« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2003, 07:32:30 PM »

[As a Catholic I have been in the habit of tracing a cross on my childrens' heads before bed, sometimes with holy water from the font which hangs on our wall,]

Did you that in the early Church made the sign of the Cross in the way you describe?  They made it with on their forhead with their thumb.

I still do this when I have a headache or if at times of prayer or in Church my mind starts to wonder.  It helps me to refocus.

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Oh Lord, Save thy people and bless thine inheritance.
Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries.
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