Getting Ready for Home Blessing

Christ, by entering the Jordan, sanctified it, and with it all creation. Material creation once again became "very good" as it was in the beginning.

The central sign of God's sanctification of all things through the feast of Theophany is the act of blessing the homes of faithful Christians. The priest visits all members of the Church to pray with them in the place where they live, and to bless their surroundings with Holy Water. He asks God to have mercy on the house, to rid it of every evil and to fill it with every blessing.

Thus the house itself, together with the living persons of the family, is "filled with all the fullness of God".

To prepare for the priest's visit to bless your home:
Make a list of the first names of those family members you wish to pray for when the priest arrives, with the living and the deceased in separate columns.
On your dining room table or family altar, place a lighted candle, a Theophany icon or icon of Christ, and a wide bowl (to hold the holy water the priest will bring). Be sure your prayer list is there, too!
Turn on a light in each room, so the priest can see where he is going.
Turn off all TVs, stereos, and computers.
Secure any pets that might jump up on the priest or family, or "get underfoot" as you move from room to room. (Pets may be blessed, too!)

Everyone in the house when the priest arrives should gather around the table/family alter and join in the singing of the litany responses and troparion.

The children may lead the priest around the house with a lit candle, if he permits.

compiled by Nichola Toda Krause

© 1999 by Orthodox Family Life and the original author(s).
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