Hello all! It’s Caroline here!
I hope everyone is having a lovely start to the year! Now that both New and Old Calendar Orthodox have celebrated Theophany, I thought I’d share some resources that have been very helpful to us when preparing for house blessings.
Our first parish, St. Athanasius Orthodox Church in Nicholasville, KY printed out the house blessing prayers on a little booklet, complete with brief instructions on how to prepare for a home blessing. I found it super helpful, so I shared the link to it at the bottom of this post!
Secondly, it has really helped me when I have a clear picture in mind before I lay out my materials. This year (in addition to the January activity from our 2019 calendar), I created an easy printable that your kids can use to help you seek and find the appropriate materials in your house. It’s simple in it’s layout so that you can even set on the table and place your items on top of each shape as if completing a puzzle. Notice that there’s a significant amount of blank space here. That’s because a house blessing is simple and the focus should really be on the icon or icon corner where you are standing.
Below are some great ways to get your kids involved in the process of preparing for a house blessing:
Have your kids seek-and-find the necessary items. (ex: “Can someone pick out an icon with Jesus on it to place on the table?”)
Listen to the troparion for Theophany so that your family can sing along while the priest blesses the house.
Have your kids pretend to be the priest and walk around the house blessing or censing it. Have them remove any toys that are in their way and in turn would be in the priest’s way as he walks though the house.
We hope these resources help your family during this special season in our church! Below are links to the House Blessing Printable and House Blessing Service Booklet.