“You First”- The Blessing of Home
As an Episcopal Priest I have had occasion to officiate in the service of “Blessing of a Home.” Often when a family purchases a new home I am invited to lead this service, usually combined with some sort of Open House gathering. It has been a meaningful time of welcoming a family to the new abode.
To bless something in a very basic sense is to bestow approval or any kind of good over, upon or in something. In a religious sense it is asking God to bless a person, a place or a thing. Blessings can be done in a pronouncement or declaration.
In the service of blessing a home there is a specific blessing and prayers said in each and every room. From the entry, kitchen, study, bedrooms, bathrooms, dining and living room, even the patio or garden, not a single space is excluded. The final prayer of the service is:
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, now and forever. Amen.
Regardless of your religious affiliation and even if you have none, these are good things to ask for a family. For a home to be truly blessed it needs to be a place where love abounds. Life is hard. Difficulties abound. Families are often torn apart by strife. The world offers conflict, producing fear and anxiety. Home in its deepest sense is a wellspring where love for one another flourishes.
This is not a “movie” kind of love. It is a true, selfless, sacrificial love that desires the best for the other person. It is a giving love that seeks to build up, support, encourage and defend. We live in a world that is often “me first.” Home is a place where we live out “you first.” When that is the posture of people, it is truly a blessed home!
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