Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Epiphany House Blessings

It is an ancient custom for pastors to bless the homes of his parishioners during the Epiphany season. Lutherans didn't do that for many years, but the tradition is coming back into vogue of late.

How Is it Done?
Call your pastor and make an appointment. He will come to your house and begin blessing every room with the word of God and with prayer. If he and you are more "high church," you may ask him to use incense during the blessing.

Since every room should be blessed, make sure each is ready for him. Do not think that it has to be perfectly clean!!! I promise you, your pastor has seen sights that would make you faint. Pick up what you can and must, and leave the rest. His vow is never to reveal sins, nor anything that would hurt your reputation. You are not hosting an open house, but a house that needs blessing.

The Lutheran version of this rite doesn't take very long...unless your house looks like this:


  1. Dixie said...

    Yes...bathrooms and laundry rooms and walk-in closets get sprinkled, too! my case, the neighbors get an eyeful when the priest decked out in cassock and epitrakhilion goes out and blesses the cars while chanting in Greek! Well, since my husband rides his unicycle all over the neighborhood I think they think we are circus people anyway. ;)

    A couple of points that may or may not apply...depends on the situation...I offer them from an Orthodox point of view. It is customary for the Orthodox to discreetly slip an envelope containing an honorarium and a list of people for the priest to pray for during the coming and dead. I recall my Roman Catholic parents doing the same thing. (I know this might be considered inappropriate for Lutherans but I figure it might be interesting to know how others do it.)

    And usually the priest will schedule a number of blessings in one day. One year, our priest was not offered food the entire day! So...have something available to offer the pastor but don't be offended if he refuses because he has eaten at the 5 houses scheduled before yours! :D