A House Blessing

A House Blessing

To begin the House Blessing, everyone present gathers in the living room. An official leader, eg., a priest or a pastor, can be invited if desired. It is often recommended that you alternate leadership and reading from room to room. That way, more people can participate and take ownership as you pray through the house. Select one person, perhaps an older child, to carefully lead the procession with a lighted candle. “And a little child shall lead them.” Let the light of Christ guide you from one room to the next. Many sacramental objects can be used in the Blessing: Blessed holy oil can  be used to put the sign of the cross over each doorway as you process. Blessed water can be sprinkled into each room during the prayers to symbolize the cleansing action of the Holy Spirit. And a pinch of blessed salt can be lightly sprinkled in window casings and around the borders of the living space, an OT symbol for peace and concord, and also representing the presence of a preservative and a curative through the presence of Christ. Feel free to offer spontaneous prayers and songs throughout the Blessing. Remember, one or two persons can bless the house/apartment, as well as a larger group including friends and neighbors. The final blessing is offered when everyone present returns to the living room. This version of the House Blessing is from the Anglican tradition, but there are probably many other versions available.

IN THE LIVING ROOM

Reader: The Lord be with you.

Others: And also with you.

Reader: Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, grant to this home the grace of your presence, that you may be known to be the inhabitant of this dwelling, and the defender of this household; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Leader: Let the mighty power of the Holy God be present in this place to banish from it every unclean spirit, to cleanse it from every residue of evil, and to make it a secure habitation for those who dwell in it; in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

AT THE ENTRANCE

Reader: Behold I stand at the door and knock, says the Lord. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come into the house, and eat with you, and you with me.

Leader: The Lord shall watch over your going out and your coming in,

Others: From this time forth for evermore.

Leader: Let us pray. Sovereign Lord, you are Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end; Send your servants out from this place on many errands, be their constant companion in the way, and welcome them upon their return, so that coming and going they may be sustained by your presence, O Christ our Lord. Amen.

IN PRAYER CORNER OR CHAPEL

Reader: Let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.

Leader: Lift up your hands in the holy place,

Others: and bless the Lord.

Leader: Let us pray. Almighty God, from you comes every good prayer, and you pour out on those who desire it the spirit of grace and supplication; Deliver your servants when they draw near to you in this place from coldness of heart and wanderings of mind, that with steadfast thoughts and kindled affections they may worship you in spirit and in truth, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

IN A STUDY, LIBRARY OR OFFICE

Reader: Teach us, O Lord, where wisdom is to be found, and show us the place of understanding.

Leader: Seek the Lord your God, and you will find him,

Others: Search for him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Leader: Let us pray. O God of truth, eternal ground of all that is, beyond space and time yet within them, transcending all things yet pervading them; Show yourself to us, for we go about in ignorance; reveal yourself to us, for it is you that we seek, O Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

IN EACH BEDROOM

Reader: Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping, that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.

Leader: I lie down and go to sleep;

Others: I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.

Leader: Let us pray. O God of life and love, the true rest of your people; Sanctify to your servants their hours of rest and refreshment, their sleeping and their waking; and grant that, strengthened by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, they may rise to serve you all the days of their life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

IN A CHILD’S ROOM

Reader: Jesus said, Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to those like them belongs the kingdom of heaven.

Leader: Praise the Lord, you children of the Lord;

Others: Praise the Name of the Lord.

Leader: Let us pray. Heavenly Father, your Son our Savior took young children into his arms and blessed them; Embrace the child whose room this is with your unfailing love, protect him/her from all danger, and bring him/her in safety to each new day, until s/he greets with joy the great day of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

IN A GUEST ROOM

Reader: Do not neglect to show hospitality, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Leader: Open your homes to each other without complaining;

Others: Use the gifts you have received from God for the good of others.

Leader: Let us pray. Loving God, you have taught us to welcome one another as Christ welcomed us; Bless those who from time to time share the hospitality of this home. May your fatherly care shield them, the love of your dear Son preserve them from all evil, and the guidance of your Holy Spirit keep them in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

IN EACH BATHROOM

Reader: I will sprinkle you with clean water, and you will be cleansed.

Leader: Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering,

Others: Having our bodies washed with pure water.

Leader: Let us pray. O holy God, in the incarnation of your Son our Lord you made our flesh the instrument of your self-revelation; Give us a proper respect and reverence for our mortal bodies, keeping them clean and fair, whole and sound; that, glorifying you in them, we may confidently await our being clothed upon with spiritual bodies, when that which is mortal is transformed by Life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

IN A WORKROOM OR WORKSHOP

Reader: Many there are who rely upon their hands and are skillful in their own work.

Leader: Prosper, O Lord, the work of our hands;

Others: Prosper our handiwork.

Leader: Let us pray. O God, your blessed Son worked with his hands in the carpenter shop in Nazareth; Be present, we pray, with those who work in this place, that, laboring as workers together with you, they may share the joy of your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

IN THE KITCHEN

Reader: You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the Name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you.

Leader: The eyes of all wait upon you, O Lord;

Others: And you give them their food in due season.

Leader: Let us pray. O Lord our God, you supply every need according to your great riches; Bless the hands that work in this place, and give us grateful hearts for your daily bread; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

IN A DINING ROOM

Reader: The living God gave you from heaven rain and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.

Leader: He brings forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden our hearts;

Others: Oil to make a cheerful countenance, and bread to strengthen the heart.

Leaders: Let us pray. Blessed are you, O Lord, King of the universe, for you give us food and drink to sustain our lives; Make us grateful for all your mercies, and mindful of the needs of others; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

OUTSIDE ON THE LAWN OR GARDEN

Reader: As the earth puts forth its blossom, or bushes in a garden burst into flower, so shall the Lord God make righteousness and praise blossom before all the nations.

Leader: My boundaries enclose a pleasant land;

Others: Indeed, I have a goodly heritage.

Leader: Let us pray. Jesus, our good Companion, on many occasions you withdrew with your friends for quiet and refreshment; Be present with your servants in this place, to which they come for fellowship and recreation; and make of it, we pray, a place of serenity and peace; in your Name we ask it. Amen.

IN THE FAMILY ROOM

Reader: O, how good and pleasant it is, when God’s people live together in unity.

Leader: Above everything, love one another earnestly;

Others: For love covers many sins.

Leader: Let us pray. Give your blessing, Lord, to all who share this room, that they may be knit together in fellowship here on earth, and joined with the communion of your saints in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

THE FINAL BLESSING IN THE LIVING ROOM

Reader: The effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness tranquility and trust for ever. My people will abide in secure dwellings and in quiet resting places.

Leader: Unless the Lord builds the house,

Others: Their labor is in vain who build it.

Leader: Let us pray. Visit, O blessed Lord, this home with the gladness of your presence. Bless all who live here with the gift of your love, and grant that they may manifest your love to each other and to all whose lives they touch. May they grow in grace and in the knowledge and love of you; guide, comfort, and strengthen them; and preserve them in peace, O Jesus Christ, now and for ever. Amen.

 

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