Theophany House Blessings. From the Theophany (January 19th, 2023) until Cheesefare Sunday (February 26th, 2023), Father will be blessing parishioners’ homes. This is something we do every year during this time with the newly-blessed holy water, and it’s an opportunity to renew the sanctification of our homes (the little church), and rededicate our lives away from the parish in a unique way. It should be noted that this can also be done anytime you’ve moved into a new home, or if the family is suffering any particular torment. So what should you expect, and what should you have on hand during this time?
So first things first, please contact Father to schedule your home blessing sooner rather than later - he works two full-time secular jobs in addition to his work at the parish, so the earlier we can schedule, the better - if you’re available during weekdays, even better, but we’ll work something out regardless. Father has a lot of homes to visit and serves a huge geographical area, so it’s not always possible to stay for a meal, though if you’d like to invite him for one he won’t turn you down - just please plan in advance, and maybe have a rain check date in mind. It’s customary and appreciated though never required to offer a donation to cover fuel and expenses, especially if you live far from the parish. Whenever possible, if you’re able to coordinate with other parishioners who live near you, house blessings can be grouped to save a bit of time.
If you have a home prayer corner or icon wall, wonderful - if not, your kitchen table will do just fine, with a small bowl on it in which to pour the holy water and from which to either consume it, or pour it on a houseplant or on ground you won’t be walking on. If you’ve got an icon of the Theophany, great - if not, either Father can bring one or you can use a small icon of Christ. A lit candle is traditional, but not requisite, symbolizing the light of Christ being carried throughout your home during the blessing. Lights should be on in each room, and the bathroom doors closed (they’re the only rooms that aren’t blessed).
The service itself is relatively quick; the reader (if one is along) will read through the Trisagion and a few other prayers, Father will say a prayer, the Troparion will be sung during the actual blessing, walking from room to room, sprinkling the holy water. Finally another blessing is given to you and your family, and you are sprinkled with holy water.