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Sts. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church
Orthodox Church in America
25636 North Mosiertown Rd. Crossingville, PA
Home / About Orthodoxy / Orthodox Home Life
Blessing of Homes

Small Churches:

The family is considered, by the Orthodox faith, to be a small church. The family table is the home altar where the members gather each day to receive their daily bread from God with thanksgiving in the name of Christ.

Sanctification of the Home

The sanctification of the home takes place with prayer and the sprinkling of Holy Water. The priest, at this annual visit, asks God to have mercy on the house, to rid it of every evil and to fill if with every blessing for the year. Everyone of the house prays together for the living and the dead of the family, and all who live and have lived in the house. They all sing the hymn of salvation and process from room to room while the priest blesses the house.

Traditions of the ceremony:

  • A candle with an icon and some holy water in a small bowl should be placed in a suitable place, such as kitchen or dining room table, or a home altar.
  • Also, a list of first names for whom prayers are to be offered, including members of the family and all those living in the house. The list should have a clear distinction between the living an the dead.
  • If it is the practice to give the priest a gift, it should not be placed with the holy objects on the table. It can be prepared in advance but given at the conclusion of the service.

The Ceremony:

When the priest comes, all who are present in the house should gather around the icon with the candle. They should, if they are able to join in, say the Trisagion Prayers and sing of the Troparion of the Feast of Epiphany. Then a family member leads the priest through the house with the candle. All lights should be on. As he goes, he sprinkles Holy Water and prays for a blessing upon each room and the activity that goes on there. When they have gone through the entire house, the family gathers again around the table and the priest leads a petition of the living and the reposed and blesses each person present granting them many years.

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