“The Church teaches us to sanctify everything: dwellings, places of work, all our pursuits, and the fruits of our labor. The home blessing at Theophany represents a renewal of our lives in Christ. Washed in the baptismal waters, our homes become temples of the Holy Spirit for the fulfillment of the will of our Heavenly Father. This is why the Church blesses everything that can be found in a Christian home; and if something is not worthy of being blessed, then there should not be a place for it in the home of a Christian.” Taken from: http://stjohndfw.info/2016/01/12/the-house-blessings-at-theophany/
The Great Feast of Theophany celebrates the renewal of all Creation, through which the waters have been sanctified in Christ. He chases away and destroys the dragons and any demonic activity in them. In His descent into the Jordan, He shows the waters to be waters of cleansing and of salvation — the very same waters of the Red Sea that freed the Hebrew people from their enslavers, the very same waters of the Jordan crossed over by other Old Testament figures. (See the 13 Old Testament Readings of Great Vespers celebrated on January 5, which can be found on the OCA website).
The quote offered above provides a wonderful reminder about how important it is to have one’s home blessed during the Theophany season. It is an opportunity for parents to teach their children how the home is to be a place where everything in it is to be used in accordance with God’s will. It calls our attention to family homes as temples in which the Lord resides, both in the home itself and in its family members. Thus, “the Church blesses everything that can be found in a Christian home; and if something is not worthy of being blessed, then there should not be a place for it in the home of a Christian.”
May we once again, during this Theophany season, be mindful of our homes and how they are to be vehicles through which the life of the Triune God is manifested. The blessing of he Lord be upon you.
The unworthy +Paul
The Right Reverend Bishop Paul:
I love this practice and look forward to the day when I will be a chrismated member of the Church.
I have a question: is it appropriate for families to share a monetary gift with the priest who is administering the house blessing?
Thank you Brian for the kind words. If a priest is getting a regular livable salary that provides for him and his family, then no, no need to give a gift. If you know money is tight and there might be a financial need then if you want to give something our of kindness then fine. But not of any sense of obligation or having to do it. +Paul