St Anthony of the Desert

Orthodox Christian Mission

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Fr Gabriel

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Preparation for House Blessing

Christ entered Jordan to be baptized.  We believe that, by so doing, he sanctified water and all creation. The creation once again became “very good” as it was in the beginning (see Genesis 1).

The central sign of God’s sanctification of all things throughout the season of Theophany is the house blessings 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 environment. He prays God’s mercy and blessing upon the house and all who live therein.  By this act, the house and the family are “filled with all the fullness of God”.

To prepare for your house blessing:

We gather in the dining room. On your dining room table or family altar, set

  • A lighted candle,
  • A Theophany icon or icon of Christ, and
  • A fairly large bowl (to hold the holy water the priest will bring).

Make two lists of the first names of family members you wish to pray for; one list for the living and one for the deceased.

Make sure your rooms are lit (if at night) and open doors to rooms for ease of entry.  As they say everywhere now, “turn off your electronic devices.”

If you have pets, make sure they become accustomed to the visitors so they don’t bark or jump up during the service.  We encourage you to have your pets blessed, too.

When the priest arrives everyone in the house should gather around the table/family altar and join in the singing of the litany responses and the troparion.  These materials will be provided.

If there are children, they usually carry the icon and a candle to lead the priest from room to room.

Fr Gabriel would certainly like to visit every home in the parish during the Theophany season.  Please call or e-mail or check with him following Vespers or the Divine Liturgy.