Preparing for a House Blessing

I am in the process of scheduling a blessing for my home, and was wondering if someone could advise me on how to prepare? For example, does the priest stand in the living room and bless the entire house from there, or does he actually go from room to room and bless each room? How about closets - will he open doors and bless the insides of the closets :eek:? What about the garage?

Also, how long does the blessing generally take? Should I plan on 30 minutes, an hour, two hours? I am planning to invite him to stay and eat with us afterwards, but what is an appropriate monetary donation for a home blessing? Many thanks in advance for all of your help!

The best thing to do is to ask your priest all of this.

I’m sure different priests will have their different ways of doing things, so it’ll doubtless be more helpful to go to the source than ask here.

you start in the living room, but the priest would have to move through the entire home and sprinkle holy water in each and every room

you might also have some candles

and prepare a nice meal for afterwards :thumbsup:

I only have vague childhood memories of having our house blessed when I was very young - but I certainly don’t recall the priest’s moving through every room in the house.

To suggest that this is a necessary part of a house blessing sounds strange.

To me it sounds a bit like saying a priest must make the sign of the cross individually over every member of his congregation to bless themat the end of Mass, or that he must speak the words of consecration over each individual host in the ciborium to consecrate them. :shrug:

In the Book of Blessings (For a New Home) the rubrics read as follows concerning the use of holy water:

After the prayer of blessing, the minister sprinkles those present and the new home with holy water…

So it would seem that the interpretation of what the “sprinkling of the home” would mean would be up to the minister.

When I do a house blessing I always recommend that the family break out the wet vac.:smiley:

Not, it is not like that at all; that seems an odd attempt at analogy.

I have been to numerous house blessings and in every one of them the priest walked from room to room. I have never seen it done any other way. The EF directs the priest to walk and asperse the principal parts of the house; the rubrics direct that a server or male family member carry an aspergillum for this purpose, so the priest could replenish the holy water while sprinkling. Even the OF blessings that I attended involved the priest going from room to room, so it is certainly not an uncommon custom.

They never went into bathrooms, closets, patios, garages or basements (unless finished portions of the house were there and the family desired it), and would certainly skip a room if the family preferred (leaving the door closed was the hint). The idea is to bless each room as it was intended to be used, i.e., that the Lord is with the family in their daily lives as they sleep, eat, work, relax, etc.

I think that most priests are invited to stay for a meal and will accept, if possible. However, this should be mentioned in advance, if possible, just to be sure.

Thank you so much. That helps a lot. I asked about going room to room because my friend, whose husband is Greek, had their home blessed by their Greek Orthodox priest, and she said that the priest was very specific about blessing all four corners of EACH room in the house.

She also said that her kids thought it was really special that the priest blessed their bedrooms, so I was hoping my kids could have that experience as well.

this is how we bless the house in the Philippines and here in Canada. i just had my house blessed last year. so unless the US is doing something different from the Philippines and Canada, the priest normally moves from room to room. here in Canada there was just one prayer. in the Philippines there are different prayers for the different types of rooms. then again, the last time we had a house blessed in the Philippines is 1986. maybe there’s just one prayer now.

and during Easter when we renew our baptismal vows the priest also goes around through the entire church to sprinkle everyone with water. unless you think he should just stay in the sanctuary and just sprinkle a little there as a symbolic gesture of blessing everyone. although i’ve heard my priest tell a story of a joke made by one of his sacristans about using a super soaker instead and get the job done faster :smiley:

Wow - so by your logic the ONE Eucharistic prayer the priest prays over ALL those hosts in the ciborium is not a real consecration (blessing) but only a symbolic one. :frowning:

Newsflash - it is every bit as real as if he repeated the prayer many times - once for each individual host in that ciborium. If it weren’t there would be no sacrament, no true presence, no Eucharist.

Same with the blessing at the end of Mass - it IS just one simple prayer and sign of the cross over the whole congregation, but it’s every bit as REAL a blessing as the sprinkling with water at Easter. One isn’t ‘more blessed’ in any fashion for being sprinkled with water.

Did you know the sprinkling is an option for the penitential rite at EVERY Mass, by the way, another option being a simple prayer? They are both equal and equally legitimate options, one isn’t ‘better’ than the other.

Let me put it this way. Many times I’ve had rosaries, medals and the like blessed. Depending on the priest, sometimes he just makes the sign of the cross over it with no audible prayer, sometimes he prays aloud, sometimes he will even sprinkle it with holy water if there’s some handy. No one method is any more or less a blessing than any of the others - all are effective - and the priest is perfectly within his right to adopt any of them.

So bear in mind when you say ‘this is how WE do it in the Phillipines/Canada’ you don’t actually know that at all - all you know is that YOUR particular priests have done it that way.

And it may be that they use one of several legitimate ways of blessing a house, and that it’s just dumb luck that you don’t know about the other ways it can be done.

so you know everything and i can’t possibly know everything?
what makes you know more than me?

i merely spoke from my experience. if my experience doesn’t encompass all instances, then its funny why everytime i go to a house blessing, all rooms are blessed. is it dumb luck too? sorry, i’m Catholic, i don’t believe in luck

Neither of us know everything - the difference being, that unlike you I don’t presume that I do. :shrug:

I’m guessing (correct me if I’m wrong) that you haven’t been to house blessings in countries other than the Phillipines and Canada? And that those house blessings IN the Phillippines and Canada have usually been restricted to a few towns/cities/dioceses in those countries?

Priests in particular dioceses/parishes - even in particular countries - are of course more likely to do things the same way as each other - they usually go through the same seminaries and are instructed by the same teachers, bishops and Episcopal councils. So of course they’re all likely to do things in a similar fashion - doesn’t mean it’s done the same everywhere.

Put it this way - I go to Mass here in Sydney Australia, where I live. There are lots of things - tabernacles in separate chapels, lay ‘masters of ceremonies’ at Mass, priests sitting down and letting others distribute communion - that just don’t happen here, at all. Thanks be to God, we have a very orthodox Archbishop who cracks down on most of these abuses, and our churches are old and so most have retained the old high altars with tabernacle front and centre.

I travel half a day to the diocese where my parents live, however, and it’s an entirely different story. I come here and talk to people from dioceses in America and hear different stories again, things I’ve never seen in my life. If not for the dumb coincidence (surely you believe in that, if not in luck?) of having my parents in another part of the country, and posters here to tell me about different practices, I would very likely just not think that they ever happen.

For that matter I hear from Catholics in Canada that you say the Apostles’ Creed at Mass (at least sometimes) rather than the Nicene. Again, something I wouldn’t have expected at all, and something I’ve never seen happen.

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