Blessing of the home with Holy Water is a yearly tradition that happens in the weeks following Theophany and ends before the start of Great Lent; however, blessing can be performed any time during the year.
To prepare for this blessing, ensure that the house is clean and tidy, with the lights on in every room.
Select a location in the home that will be the centre of the blessing, typically the dining room or kitchen table.
The priest will begin the service by reading a prayer and commemorates the living and departed members of the family.
He will then walk through the house, sprinkling the four corners of each room with the Holy Water and blessing the home with the grace of the Holy Spirit which also protects the family from evil spirits.
Although ideal, all family members do not need to be present for the blessing of the home.
The items needed for a home blessing are as follows:
- Prepare a list of the first names of those family members for whom you wish to pray when the priest arrives, with the living and the deceased listed in separate columns.
- On the dining room or kitchen table, place a lighted candle, an icon of Christ or a Theophany icon, and the prepared lists of names.
- Turn on a light in each room so that the priest can see where he is going.
- Turn off all TVs, computers and tablets, radios and music.
- Do not use your cell phones (turn off or place in vibration mode).
- Secure all pets to ensure that they do not get underfoot as the priest walks from room to room. You may ask the priest to bless your pets too.
- When the priest arrives, everyone in the house should gather around the table and join in the singing of the litany responses and troparion.
- The children may lead the priest around the house, from room to room, holding a lit candle, if parents permit.