Silouan & All Saints GBI
Service for Blessing a Home with Holy Water
Every year at the feast of Theophany (remembering the Baptism of Christ in the River Jordan), parishes will bless large quantities of water to be given to the faithful. This holy water can be used throughout the year - to be drunk first thing in the morning, to bless someone who is sick or to bless items for use including the blessing of homes.
The blessing of homes is a pious Orthodox custom done every year, usually between Theophany (6/19 Jan) and the beginning of Lent (roughly 50 days before Pascha, though often earlier). The blessing is done by a visiting priest where possible, but when conditions are such that a priest cannot visit, an individual or family can bless their own homes using holy water. This very short service, with practical advice, is presented below and in a pdf format that can be printed off on one sheet of A4 paper as a small booklet. Music for the Theophany troparion (tone 1 in the slav use) is also provided for those who want to sing.
Service for the Blessing of Homes after the Feast of Theophany
(when no priest is available)
Arrange on a small table near the family icon corner:
Clean bowl containing holy water. This is usually poured cross-wise into the bowl whilst saying “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
Brush (krupilla). A krupilla can be made from fresh cut basil (from home or shop-bought) tied together at one end so the leaves will effectively sprinkle the water. A clean wooden-handled pastry brush will also work.
Icon and lit candles. An icon of the Theophany is best if available, but any icon of Christ can be used.
If a censer is available this can also be lit. Open internal doors throughout the house and switch off all electronic devices.
Then: Through the prayers of our holy fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us. Amen.
Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.
O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth. Who art everywhere present and fillest all things; treasury of blessings and Giver of Life: come and abide in us, cleanse us from all impurity, and of Thy goodness save our souls.
+ Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal. Have mercy on us (Thrice)
+ Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
O Most-holy Trinity: Have mercy on us. Lord: Cleanse us from our sins. Master: Pardon our transgressions. Holy One: visit and heal our infirmities, for Thy name's sake.
Lord, have mercy (Thrice)
+ Glory… Now and ever… Amen.
Our Father (+) who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory: of the (+) Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages: Amen.
Now the family (or individual) processes through the house sprinkling holy water in the corners of every room that has an icon (i.e. every room except bathrooms). If there are enough family members, candles, icons and the censer can also be carried. During the procession, the following troparion is chanted or sung over and over:
When Thou, wast baptized in the Jordan, O Lord
the worship of the Trinity was made manifest;
for the voice of the Father bare witness to Thee,
calling Thee His beloved Son.
And the Spirit in the form of a dove
confirmed the certainty of the word.
O Christ our God, Who hast appeared
and hast enlightened the world, glory be to Thee.
When finished: (+)Through the prayers of our holy fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy upon us. Amen.
Then family can venerate the icon and sprinkle themselves with holy water. The bowl should be allowed to air dry before reuse. If a pastry brush has been used, consider not using it again for ordinary use and keep it as a permanent krupilla. Basil krupilla should not be thrown in the general waste bin.