St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Epiphany 2016 - Blessing of Homes

The central sign of our acceptance of God’s sanctification of the creation is the blessing of the homes of faithful Orthodox Christians. We bless homes:

  1. To reveal the home as what God created it to be, a way to heaven.
  2. To rid the home of every evil.
  3. To show that the family is a small church unit in Christ.
  4. To consecrate the home and all activity in it to God.
  5. To fill the home and all who live in it with the fullness of God.

Only the Church reveals what life is, and She alone is the Kingdom of God on earth. The Church lives within Christ, revealing Him to us. As the Church, we sprinkle blessed water throughout the home, as we chant, “When Thou , O Lord, were baptized in the Jordan, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest. For the voice of the Father bore witness to Thee, and called Thee His beloved Son, and the Spirit, in the form of a dove, confirmed the truthfulness of words. O Christ our God, who has appeared and has enlightened the world, Glory to Thee!” The priest consecrates the home to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In this act, the church blesses, reveals and sanctifies.

When the priest comes to the house blessing, please adhere to these guidelines:

  1. Have as many family members there as possible.
  2. Set up a place for prayers, in the dining room or kitchen, with an icon and a candle.
  3. Print the first names of those for whom special prayers are to be offered, including all family members on a sheet of paper, making a clear distinction between living and departed.
  4. Take this time to get to know the priest better, asking any questions you may have.
  5. If a child needs some time to talk to the priest alone, respect his/her privacy and make the opportunity.
  6. Make the priest aware of any special needs you may have.
  7. Tell the priest about any family members who are in nursing homes or in need of a visit.
  8. Please don’t feed the priest! We don’t want to play favorites, and we also don’t want to gain 30 pounds by eating everything that is offered to us.

Remember that the priest will make many visits. A lengthy visit may not be possible at this time. In order to make it possible to visit as many homes as possible, you may prefer a season other than Epiphany for a visitation this year.

Although it is traditional to begin House Blessings immediately following Epiphany, homes may be blessed at any time of year. This year, we are designating two (2) particular times for blessings from which you may choose: after Epiphany (Jan. 6) or between Pascha (May 1) and Pentecost (June 24).    Please fill out the form below and return it to the Church Office or pass it in at the Bengarri as soon as possible.

Yes, I/we would like to have my/our home blessed in 2016. The most convenient days and times are:

Please circle your preference:

Best Season:    After Epiphany (Jan. 6)        After Holy Pascha (May 1)
Best Day:    Mon.    Tues.    Wed.    Thu.    Fri.     Sat.    Sun.
Best time: ___________________________ a.m.     p.m.  (circle one)
Name: _____________________________________  Phone: _______________________________
Address: __________________________________________________________________________