Anglican Tradition of Blessing Homes

by Elise Medina
The Anglican tradition of blessing homes invites the presence and love of Christ to inhabit the space and the people living there.

The Anglican tradition of blessing homes invites the presence and love of Christ to inhabit the space and the people living there.

The Anglican tradition of blessing homes most often occurs when a home is newly purchased, during the celebration of Epiphany, or when a traumatic event, such as a burglary, has occurred. Anglicans view the home as a place where parishioners live out their faith and mature spiritually. Recognizing that much of Jesus' ministry was conducted within private homes, they desire their homes to be places that foster spiritual growth and practice. Blessing a home is a way to formally invite God's love, peace and presence to inhabit the space and the people living in the house.

Order of Service

Though led by an Anglican priest, the home blessing is a collaborative service in which those present participate by reading Bible passages, praying and responding to the liturgy. Beginning at the front of the home, preferably in front of a cross, the service progresses room by room with a blessing and scripture being read in each room. The priest also anoints each room with holy water or oil, symbolizing the authority of the Holy Spirit over the space.

Liturgy

The liturgy used for a home blessing can be quite elaborate or streamlined, depending on what the family desires. No matter the length of the service, the liturgy follows a standard model. The leader acknowledges God's goodness and provision, requests his blessing over the space, and asks that those living in the home in turn be a blessing to others. More elaborate services may include communion and reading both a Psalm and a scripture passage each room.

Epiphany

Epiphany is the annual celebration commemorating the arrival of the three magi to worship the baby Jesus. Matthew 2:11 says, "And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh." In the spirit of the wise men's blessing of Mary and Joseph's home, Anglicans often celebrate Epiphany by having their own homes blessed

Purifiying the Home

A home blessing is often associated with a joyous occasion such as Epiphany or a family moving into their new house. However, home blessings play a crucial role in purifying the space after a distressing event, such as a death, burglary or divorce. Many Anglicans find it beneficial to formally bless their homes and invite God's peace and love into the space in the wake of a traumatic event. For many it is a physical manifestation of God's blessing and presence in their hearts and minds.

About the Author

Elise Medina writes and cooks in northern Virginia, where she works as a nutrition consultant. She holds a B.A. in political science and Spanish from Virginia Tech, as well as a master’s degree in political science from George Mason University.

Photo Credits

  • Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images