An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Celebration for a Home

The BOS provides a form for Celebration for a Home, which is also known as a house blessing. Members of the household and friends assemble in the living room of the home. The service includes a collect and one or more readings from scripture or other appropriate readings. A homily or brief address may follow. The service may include an invocation that God will be present in the home to banish every unclean spirit, and make it a secure habitation for those who dwell in it. A procession may go to the different rooms of the house. The BOS provides an antiphon, versicle and response, and prayer for use at the entrance; in an oratory, chapel, or shrine; in a study or library; in a bedroom; in a child's room; in a guest room; in a bathroom; in a workroom or workshop; in the kitchen; in a dining room or area; in a terrace or garden; and in the living room or family room. After the procession has returned to the living room, or immediately after the homily and invocation if there is no procession, the service continues with the Blessing of the Home. This blessing includes an antiphon, a versicle and response, a prayer of blessing, and the peace. The service may continue with the eucharist. Members of the household present the offerings of bread and wine at the eucharist. The BOS provides a proper preface and a postcommunion prayer. If there is no communion, the service concludes with the Lord's Prayer and a blessing. The service may conclude with a dismissal. Incense and holy water may be used to symbolize the purification and blessing of the home. The service may be followed by a party to continue the celebration. This service may be done shortly after a household moves to a new home, or at any appropriate time when a Celebration for a Home is desired.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.