Tuesday, February 10, 2009

House Blessing

The Transposzing family had a lovely houseblessing this past Sunday afternoon.

I love the brief rite of houseblessing, as the family (and all present) proceed from room to room singing the Theophany troparion as holy water is splashed lavishly on our stuff (kitchen counters, the beds, icons, workspaces, and various other things throughout the house.) It was particularly nice for this church music-oriented Christian as we got to sing the troparion in 4-part harmony for the first time this year, thanks to ElderSon's newly-changed baritone voice and the presence this year of my godmother - a soprano!

Even though we just had houseblessing last year, I wanted to do it again already this year in order that my newly-set aside and fairly humble little painting workshop in the corner of the basement could be blessed this year...and so it was.

I recently read in a priest's comments on the church website of another local Orthodox parish that it was his intention to visit every household in his parish for houseblessing, whether or not he was invited to come and bless it. I'm not quite sure what I'd think of this if I were a member of his church. Would one have to use the days between Christmas and Theophany to "Flip This House" and then try to keep it "flipped" until the priest shows up to bless it - which might not be until just before Lent begins? Or does one take the "Bless This Mess" sort of approach and let him bless the house in whatever condition it happens to be in at the time? (Does one make their priest kick the clothes lying on the floor in the children's room aside in order to bless their room? And then after blessing when it comes time for weekend chores, does one simply suck up random dog hair which has been blessed into one's vacuum cleaner???)

One way or another, I'm glad we got to arrange the date of our houseblessing ahead of time.


DebD said...

4 part harmony!! Very nice. We had 2part.

I imagine the mentioned priest would not just show up unannounced. He probably calls and says "I'd like to come over to do your houseblessing. What day next week is good for the family?". Or something along those lines.

Mimi said...

Wonderful! I love houseblessings too!

I remember an online forum many years ago where a cradle Orthodox said that when she was a child, one day they came home and there was a note from the priest "Hi, I let myself in and blessed the house" - IIRC written on their chalkboard in the kitchen.

That story always makes me grin and the embarrassment of the mother for not knowing it was going to be blessed.