Monday, January 07, 2008

House Blessing Service

At church yesterday, it was a special encouragement yesterday to meet Amy--the first Amy who commented on the last post. She had introduced herself via email earlier last week. She's a Kenosha resident who found our church by googling--yay for the internet! It sounds like we'll get to meet her family next time; her husband stayed home with sick children.

Both Amys requested that I post the house blessing service that Father Rooster has compiled from various sources, Anglican and otherwise. I'm leaving out parts of it, such as the Communion liturgy and the prayer for blessing water, which are both in the Book of Common Prayer, and the Gospel reading, which you only need if having Communion. If you don't have Communion, you don't need a priest to do a house blessing--anyone can lead this lovely service, which is most often performed when someone moves into a new house.

But there are also situations where you do a house blessing as a kind of cleansing, especially if oppression or demonic activity is known or suspected. Then it is especially important to use holy water to bless each room; the priests and deacons we know always sprinkle it in each room, especially around the doorway, when performing any house blessing.

We always process a lit candle through the house as well, symbolizing the light of Christ entering each room.

Assemble at the entrance or in a living room to begin the service, then choose the appropriate prayer for the rooms of the house as you come to them. (V and R stand for "versicle"--read by the celebrant--and "response.")

Celebrant: Peace be to this house, and to all who dwell in it. The Lord be with you.

People: And also with you.

Celebrant: Let us pray.

Almighty and everlasting God, grant to this home the grace of your presence, that you may be known to be the inhabitant of this dwelling, and the defender of this household; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

One or both of the following Lessons, or other appropriate Readings may follow: Genesis 18.1-8; 3 John 1-6a, 11, 13-15

Let the mighty power of the Holy God be present in this place to banish from it every unclean spirit, to cleanse it from every residue of evil, and to make it a secure habitation for those who dwell in it; in the Name of Jesus Christ or Lord. Amen.

Blessing At the Entrance

Antiphon: Behold, I stand at the door and knock, says the Lord. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come into the house and eat with you, and you with me.

V. The Lord shall watch over your going out and your coming in:

R. From this time forth for evermore.

Let us pray. (Silence)

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 the Living Room

Antiphon: Oh, how good and pleasant it is, when God's people live together in unity!

V. Above everything, love one another earnestly:

R. For love covers many sins.

Let us pray. (Silence)

Give your blessing, Lord, to all who share this room, that they may be knit together in fellowship here on earth, and joined with the communion of your saints in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessing In the Kitchen

Antiphon: You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the Name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you.

V. The eyes of all wait upon you, O Lord:

R. And you give them their food in due season.

Let us pray. (Silence)

O Lord our 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 Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessing In a Dining Room or Area

Antiphon: The living God gave you from heaven rain and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.

V. He brings forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden our hearts:

R. Oil to make a cheerful countenance, and bread to strengthen the heart.

Let us pray. (Silence)

Blessed are you, O Lord, King of the Universe, for you give us food and drink to sustain our lives: Make us grateful for all your mercies, and mindful of the needs of others; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessing in a Family Room

Antiphon: Oh, how good and pleasant it is, when God's people live together in unity!

V: May those who love You be secure.
R: May there be peace within Your walls (Psalm 122:7a; 1 Thess. 13.b)

Let us pray. (Silence)

Stir up the gift of hospitality, Lord, in all who gather in this room. May your Name be invoked in all activities here to the building up of your domestic church; and in all watching, listening, reading and conversing may Your Name be glorified; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Or this Collect for the Family:

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who sets the solitary in families: We commend to your continual care this home in which your people dwell. Put far from them, we beseech you, every root of bitterness, any desire for vainglory, and the pride of life. Fill them with faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness. Knit together in constant affection those who, in holy wedlock, have been made on flesh. Turn the hearts of the parents to the children, and the hearts of the parents to the children, and the hearts of the children to the parents; and so enkindle fervent charity among us all, that we may evermore be kindly affectionate one to another; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.)

Blessing In a Bedroom

Antiphon: Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping, that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.

V. I lie down and go to sleep in peace, for the Lord alone makes me dwell in safety:

R. I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.

Let us pray. (Silence)

O God of life and love, the true rest of your people: Sanctify to your servants their hours of rest and refreshment, their sleeping and their waking; and grant that they, strengthened by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, may rise to serve you all the days of their life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessing In a Guest Room

Antiphon: Do not neglect to show hospitality, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

V. Open your homes to each other without complaining:

R. Use the gifts you have received from God for the good of others.

Let us pray. (Silence)

Loving God, you have taught us to welcome one another as Christ welcomed us: Bless those who from time to time share the hospitality of this home. May your fatherly care shield them, the love of your dear Son preserve them from all evil, and the guidance of your Holy Spirit keep them in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessing In a Bathroom

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

V. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering:

R. Having our bodies washed with pure water.

Let us pray. (Silence)

O holy God, in the incarnation of your Son our Lord 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 Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessing In a Workroom or Workshop

Antiphon: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord (Col 3:23)

V. Prosper, O Lord, the work of our hands:

R. Prosper our handiwork.

Let us pray. (Silence)

O God, your blessed Son worked with his hands in the carpenter shop in Nazareth: Be present, we pray, with those who work in this place, that, labouring as workers together with you, they may share the joy of your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessing in a Home Library or Study

Antiphon: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Let us pray. (Silence)

O Lord Jesus Christ, who as a child did learn, and did grow in wisdom: Grant us so to learn thy holy Word, that we may walk in thy ways and daily grow more like unto thee; who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Blessing in a Private Prayer Room or Oratory

V: When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret;

R: And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Let us pray. (Silence)

O Lord Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray your own prayer to the Father, grant to all who pray in this room the reverence, the humility, the contrition, and the gratitude to approach your Father in you alone, whose Light illumines the soul through prayer; Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Final Blessing

Antiphon: The effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness tranquility and trust for ever. My people will abide in secure dwellings and in quiet resting places.

V. Unless the Lord builds the house:

R. Their labour is in vain who build it.

Let us pray. (Silence)

Visit, O blessed Lord, this home with the gladness of your presence. Bless all who live here with the gift of your love; and grant that they may manifest your love to each other and to all whose lives they touch. May they grow in grace and in the knowledge and love of you; guide, comfort, and strengthen them; and preserve them in peace, O Jesus Christ, now and for ever. Amen.

Celebrant: May all who go forth from this home go in peace, rejoicing in the power of the Spirit.

People: Thanks be to God.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting! It is great to be able to add more and more to our traditions each year.
Amy

Anonymous said...

Thank you for making this available! We will be using it this evening for a house blessing in Wheaton.

Rand York+

betsymoss said...

This is a lovely compilation of prayers and blessings! I am planning a house blessing for our new rectory/home in about a month and will lean heavily your work. I'd be interested if you know of a blessing for rectories?