Monday, August 28, 2006

Blessing of Families in their New Homes - repeat

This time of year, lots of people might be moving into new homes--teens off to college for the first time (dorm rooms count!); young adults starting new jobs; empty-nesters or retirees looking for a new place to start the next part of their lives.

Here's a blessing I crafted last year that has been receiving a lot of hits lately. Feel free to copy and adapt it for your needs.


Image hosted by Photobucket.comMoving into a new home can be psychologically unsettling. Help meet the spiritual needs of new parishioners, first-time home-owners, and college students moving into their first apartment by celebrating with them a blessing of the family in their new home. Below is an adaption by Diana Macalintal of the "Annual Blessing of Families in Their Own Homes" from the Book of Blessings, #68ff, which can be led by a priest or deacon and takes place in the family's home.

Blessing of a Family in Their New Home

Introductory Rites
When the community has gathered, a suitable song may be sung.
The celebrant greets those present.
    In the name of the Father, and of the Son,
    and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

    Peace be with this house and with all who live here.
    And also with you.

    Today we gather to bless this family
    and this house in which they live.

    The family home is called the domestic church.
    It is where we first learn to pray, to forgive,
    to give thanks, and to bless each other.

    Let us then ask God to open our hearts
    so that, as the doors of this home
    are opened to friend and stranger,
    this family may be a source of welcome for all in need
    and a place where Christ is found.

Reading of the Word of God
A reader or the celebrant may read a text of sacred Scripture – Ephesians 2:17-22.

The celebrant continues.

    As this family has been clothed with Christ through baptism,
    let us pray that this home is clothed with the love of God
    to be a shelter of peace for all who dwell in it.
A reader leads the litany.

    Our response is: Make us your dwelling place, Lord.

    With Mary, and Joseph: Make us your dwelling place, Lord.
    With Anne and Joachim:...
    With Elizabeth and Zechariah:
    With Francis and Clare:
    With all the angels and saints:
    With all holy men and women:
    For the sick and the hungry:
    For the homeless and lonely:
    For friend and stranger:
    For neighbor and traveler:
    In times of joy and peace:
    In times of sadness and grief:
    When anger and fear confuse us:
    When pride and pain confound us:
    In all things, great and small:
The celebrant continues.
    Christ taught us to call upon the Father, and so we pray:
    Our Father…

Prayer of Blessing [1]
With hands outstretched over the family members, the celebrant leads the following prayer.

    Almighty and eternal God,
    your fatherly tenderness never ceases to provide for our needs.
    We ask you to bestow on this family and this home
    the riches of your (+) blessing.
    With the gift of your grace sanctify those who live here,
    so that, faithful to your commandments,
    they will care for each other, bless this world by their lives,
    and reach the home you have prepared for them in heaven.
    Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The celebrant sprinkles the family with holy water.
The celebrant and family and those present go to various rooms of the home to sprinkle them with holy water.

Concluding Blessing [2]
The celebrant continues.
    May the God of hope fill you with every joy and blessing.
    May the peace of Christ abound in your hearts.
    May the Holy Spirit enrich you with all good gifts,
    now and for ever. Amen.

    And may almighty God bless you,
    the Father, and the Son, (+) and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
[1] Adaptation of Book of Blessings #84. return
[2] Book of Blessings #88. return


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