Tuesday, November 21, 2006

House Blessings

I mentioned yesterday that we had a house blessing with our friends on Sunday. I never heard of this service before we started attending an Anglican church, but now that he is a priest, Papa Rooster performs them fairly often. Our kids always enjoy house blessings because you get to walk through the whole house, stopping in each room to read appropriate prayers and Scriptures. Here are a few examples:

Blessing At the Entrance

Behold, I stand at the door and knock, says the Lord...

The Lord shall watch over your going out and your coming in: From this time forth forevermore.

Sovereign Lord, you are Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end: Send your servants out from this place on many errands, be their constant companion in the way, and welcome them upon their return, so that coming and going they may be sustained by your presence, O Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessing in a Kitchen

The eyes of all wait upon you, O Lord; and you give them their food in due season.
(Moms know this feeling!)

O God, you supply every need of ours according to your great riches: Bless the hands that work in this place, and give us grateful hearts for daily bread; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessing in a Bathroom

I will sprinkle you with clean water, and you will be cleansed.

O God, in the incarnation of your Son you made our flesh the instrument of your self-revelation: Give us a proper respect and reverence for our mortal bodies, keeping them clean and fair, whole and sound; that, glorifying you in them, we may confidently await our being clothed upon with spiritual bodies, when that which is mortal is transformed by life; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessing in a Bedroom

I lie down and go to sleep in peace, for the Lord alone makes me dwell in safety; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.

You bring a candle into each room, representing the light of Christ, and to really do it right, you sprinkle each room with holy water--water which has been set apart for the purpose of cleansing and purifying.

Today I am so thankful for our own blessed home. It's too small for us, really--and we're literally taking up more room in it every day as these kids keep growing!--but somehow it feels just right to me. I'm so glad we bought it when we did, though it seemed a stretch at the time. Our kids are almost all sharing rooms, and I know that will get harder as they age, but for now, it's a delightful rough-and-tumble of bodies and belongings.

My kitchen is tiny, with no room to remodel, but that sacrifice is nothing for the space and the beauty of our older wooded neighborhood, our great backyard, and the next door neighbor who owns almost two acres of near-wilderness for our kids to play in--and lets them! If not spacious, our home is warm, comfortable, practical and very full--full of stuff, full of kids...full of life. We are blessed indeed!

1 comment:

Deborah said...

You have certainly sparked my interest in Anglican traditions. You all sound like a lot of fun! Do you know of a book about "house blessings?"