It is customary each year during the season of Holy Theophany for all Orthodox Christians to have their home and place of business blessed by their priest.
The yearly blessing of homes at the Feast of the Theophany touches our daily lives with the sanctifying water in which our Lord was baptized. In blessing a home, the Church asks God to drive away every evil influence from our home and those who live in it, and to renew with extra vigor the influence of the Holy Spirit in our homes and lives. The Fathers speak of the Christian home as a little church, and just as we chase away the influences of the evil one from our parish, so too must we do in our own family.
How to Prepare for a Home / Business Blessing
In preparing for a house blessing, the following should be noted:
1. A quiet and reverent environment: Turn off the television and radio before the priest arrives. Assemble all the family and friends in the home around the icon corner, or at an icon prepared for the occasion. When the priest arrives, turn off the phone.
2. Prepare the table: For the house blessing, the priest will require the following:
- A space at your icon corner, or on a cleared table
- An icon
- A lit candle or censer
- A small, clean bowl for holy water
- A sprig of basil or cedar (in case the priest doesn’t have the sprinkling brush)
3. Clear a path: Clear away objects and furniture to allow a clear path for the priest to walk as he moves throughout the house at the sprinkling of the holy water. Secure pets outside or out of the way. If it is dark, turn on the lights throughout the house. Open all doors of the house so that there is nothing left without being blessed.
4. Food and drink: Unless you have invited the priest and his family to a meal, it is not necessary to provide food and drink for the priest at a house blessing. Often, if the priest is blessing many homes, it is better to save hospitality for another occasion, and to make special arrangements with the priest beforehand.
5. Get ready to sing this Troparion of Theophany several times:
When Thou, O Lord, wast baptized in the Jordan,
the worship of the Trinity was made manifest!
For the voice of the Father bore witness to Thee,
and called Thee His beloved Son!
And the Spirit, in the form of a dove,
confirmed the truthfulness of His word.
O Christ our God, Who hast revealed Thyself //
and hast enlightened the world, glory to Thee!