The Blessing of a Home

It is in the home that the first experience of love occurs; it is there that love is nurtured and grows to maturity. The Christian home is also the ground for much of people’s spiritual growth.

The ministry of Jesus occurs in many different homes. Therefore to hallow the home as an environment for nurture and renewal, is a deeply felt need by many Christian households.

The blessing of a home encourages Christians to dedicate their life at home to God and to others.

The service may be used in a variety of ways and contexts. A scheme for this is provided in the Additional Directions (page 775).

A minister may take this service in place of a priest, but may not celebrate the Eucharist or use a formal blessing.


Approach

A table may be prepared for a celebration of the Eucharist inside the house.

AT THE GATEWAY

The family or householder(s), any friends and the priest gather outside the gateway.

The priest greets the people and says

E te whānau / Dear friends in Christ
we enter this gateway in the name of God
creating, redeeming, sanctifying.

The Lord is here.
God’s Spirit is with us.

A priest may sign the lintel or post with the sign of the cross and use some symbol of blessing, saying

Enter the gates with thanksgiving in your heart.
Come into God’s presence with praise.

ONTO THE LAND

The group moves onto the land on which the house or building stands.

The priest says

The earth is God’s, and all that is in it, the world and all those who dwell there.

The Lord your God cares for the land.
God watches over it season by season.

A priest may use a symbol of blessing, saying

O God of earth and sky, you visit the land and bless it, you greatly enrich it, you water it abundantly and bless its growth with your goodness.

You formed us from the dust of the ground.
You breathed into us the breath of life.

OUTSIDE THE HOUSE

The group moves around the outside of the house or building.

The priest says

Except the Lord build the house,
their labour is but lost that build it.

Encircle this dwelling place with your protection, O God;
may your holy angels encompass these walls,
and peace be within them.

A priest may use a symbol of blessing, saying

Open the windows and doors of this house that the light and love of your Holy Spirit may shine within,
a light in the world for warmth and welcome.

Entry

AT THE FRONT DOOR

The group moves to immediately outside the front door.

The priest says

In the name of God,
peace to this house/place.
God make it a haven for all who live here.

The priest stands at the door.

‘Behold I stand at the door and knock,’ says the Lord (the priest may knock at the door). ‘If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you and you with me.’ Revelation 3:20

The householder(s) then say

Welcome to this/our home.

Blessed be God who dwells in love.
Blessed be God who gives peace and shelter.
Amen.

A priest may use a symbol of blessing saying

God of hearth and home, maker of love and laughter,
make this a place for reflection and restoration,
rest and renewal,
a place where the life of N (and N) may find its strength.

The priest faces the householder(s) and says

The Lord watch over your going out and your coming in
from this time forward for evermore.

Blessing in the Home

AT THE LIVING ROOM

The group moves into the living room.

The householder says

Indwelling God, you are ever welcome in this house.
May we hear and share your Word.

A member of the group may read the following.

Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge and you will not be judged yourselves: do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap, because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back. Luke 6:36-38

One of the following or some other suitable Scripture may be read in place of or in addition to the above.

John 14:21-23
Luke 24:13-32 (suitable if the Eucharist is to be celebrated)
1 Corinthians 13

The priest says

O how good and pleasant it is, when God’s people live together in unity.

Above everything, love one another fervently,
for love covers many sins.

A priest may use a symbol of blessing, saying

God in Trinity,
you have made us to need each other
and to grow best with companions;
bless those who shall sit or talk or work together here.
May they share your care and understanding.

If there are dependants, the priest may speak to the parent(s)

N (and N), will you be true to this family?
Will you support and care for each other
so that together you may care
for those whom God has given you?

The parents) respond

Yes, we will.
May God give us joy in what we do
and patience when our work seems hard.

The priest addresses the family and friends.

Will you, their family (and friends)
give them your support?

The family (and friends) respond

Yes we will. May God be with you.

The following may be added.

May you grow on and grow old in the love of God.
May this place be for you a place where
relationships mature,
quarrels are made up,
failures forgiven and strength renewed.

The priest says

Blessed be Christ the prince of peace
who breaks down the walls that divide.

The peace of God be always with you.
Praise to Christ who unites us in peace.

The group greet each other and share a sign of peace.

AT A BEDROOM

The group moves to each bedroom in turn.

The priest says

Guide us waking, O God,
and guard us sleeping,
that awake we may watch with Christ,
and asleep we may rest in your peace.

I lie down in peace and take my rest
for it is in God alone that I dwell unafraid.

The priest may use a symbol of blessing, saying

God of the night,
may this be a holy and blessèd place
for N (and N) and all who may sleep here.
Here may they know your loving presence,
find rest for their fatigue,
and peace for their anxiety.

May your holy angels guard them,
and your continual blessing strengthen them.


AT THE BATHROOM

The priest says

‘I will sprinkle you with clean water, and you will be cleansed.’

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering,
having our bodies washed with pure water.

A priest may use a symbol of blessing, saying

Blessed are you, our Saviour Jesus Christ,
fountain of living water springing up to eternal life;
in you is our baptism, in you is our faith.

Blessed are you God of the rain, the rivers, and the lakes,

you give water for life and health
to refresh and cleanse all creatures.

AT OTHER PLACES
FOR A STUDY

The priest says

Teach us, O God, where wisdom is to be found, and
show us the place of understanding.

Seek your God and you will be found.

Search for God with all your heart
and with all your mind.

Silence may be kept.

A priest may use a symbol of blessing, saying

O God, the source of all wisdom,
may this be a place of reflection and awareness,
of knowledge and understanding.

Show yourself for us,
lest we go about in ignorance;
reveal yourself to us,
for in you we know the incarnate word.


FOR A WORKSHOP

The priest says

Many there are who rely upon their hands
and are skilful in their own creativity and work.

Prosper, O God, the work of our hands.
Prosper our handiwork.

The priest may use a symbol of blessing, saying

O God,
your blessed son worked with his hands
in the carpenter’s shop at Nazareth:
be present we pray with those who work in this place.

Give them work till their life ends,
and life till their work is done,

that labouring together with you
they may share the joy of your creation.


FOR A TERRACE OR GARDEN

The priest says

As the earth brings forth its blossom,
or bushes in a garden burst into flower,
so shall the Lord God make righteousness and praise
blossom before all the people.

The earth brought forth vegetation,
plants yielding seed,
and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed,
each according to its kind.
And God saw that it was good.

Silence may be kept.

The priest may use a symbol of blessing, saying

Jesus, our good companion,
often you withdrew with your friends
for quiet and refreshment;
be present with your servants in this place.
Make it a place of serenity and peace.

AT THE KITCHEN

The group moves to the kitchen.

The priest says

You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has dealt so wondrously with you.

The eyes of all wait upon you O God
and you give them their food in due season.

The priest may use a symbol of blessing, saying

God of garden, farm and factory
may what is prepared here bring strength and health.
Bless the hands that work in this place,
nourish us with all goodness
and give us grateful hearts for daily bread.

May Christ our constant guest
make our humblest meal a welcome offering.

Or

Creator, Sustainer and Life-giver
food shared between mother and child is your first gift,
is the first taste we know of love.
May the food we prepare,
the work of love done in this room,
be a sign that you dwell for ever with us
in the everyday things of your world.

May Christ our constant guest
make our humblest meal a welcome offering.


AT THE DINING AREA

The group moves to the dining room or area.

The priest says

The living God gave you from heaven
rain and fruitful seasons
satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.

God brings forth food from the earth
and wine to gladden the heart.

A priest may use a symbol of blessing, saying

Blessed are you, Sovereign of the universe,
for gifts from your bounty which we receive.
May our hearts be thankful;
may we always have room for a guest.

Make us grateful for all your mercies,
and mindful of the needs of others.

It may be appropriate to return to the living room.

If there is to be a celebration of the Eucharist, the guidelines on page 774
should be observed.

If there is not to be a celebration of the Eucharist the service may continue with either The Family Liturgy and/or A Householder’s Prayer and A Blessing of Peace.

The Family Liturgy

The following may be said by a member or members of the family or household, with others lighting the candles. This liturgy maybe shared at the table before a meal, with three unlighted candles (and flowers) in the centre of the table.

If The Family Liturgy is not used the service continues with A Householder’s Prayer.

The first candle is lit.

Loving God,
(Father and Mother of us all),
in the family life you have given to us,
you have offered us yourself.

The second candle is lit.

Your Son lived with us
in all the uncertainty and darkness of life
so that we might walk in your light.

The third candle is lit.

And your Spirit is given to us,
as a light to guide our steps
and as a brightness of heart to signal welcome
to those who have found other doors closed.

Three candles shed one light;
(two of your children become one flesh);
many foods eaten build one body.
Within each one, Abba, you have planted a seed,
the seed of Christ that grows no matter how deeply buried;
the seed that becomes a tree in whose branches
all your children may come and rest.

Teach us to share, Abba, as your Son shared.
Teach us to be both Mary and Martha.
Teach us to know that we are your home.
Amen.

The priest says

Never forget to show kindness
and to share what you have with others
for these are the gifts that please God.

This prayer follows or is used in the Eucharist at the Prayer after Communion.


A Householder’s Prayer

Jesus of the wedding feast,
of breakfast by the lake,
(bless this food we have prepared for you and all our friends).

Be with us now and at all our meals
give us appetite and joy in eating together.

Blessed be God for daily bread.

It may be appropriate to share a meal here.

The service concludes with this blessing.


A Blessing of Peace

The priest offers this blessing either at the end of the Eucharist or at the
conclusion of The Family Liturgy.

The priest may lay hands on each member of the household, saying to each

N, God bless you and keep you secure in this place.
May your family/companion(s) find
in you Christ’s love and understanding.

The priest says to all present

Hear God’s word of benediction:
the fruit of righteousness will be peace
and the result of righteousness,
tranquillity and trust for ever,
my people will abide
in secure dwellings
and in quiet resting places.

And now the eternal Spirit,
enfold this home with love;
indwell this home with joy;
and build this home in peace
evermore and evermore.
Amen.

Additional Directions

At a Eucharist

If the service includes a celebration of the Eucharist, a table is prepared with bread and wine, before the service begins.

Either at the conclusion of Blessing in the Home (pages 765-771) or after The Family Liturgy (page 771), the priest continues with The Preparation of the Gifts from any of the Liturgies of the Eucharist, but using the following form

Jesus is the bread of life:
Jesus is the food of life eternal.
Let us eat and drink at his table.

God our creator, our companion, our life,
we celebrate your presence in humble thankfulness,
you who call us to sit and eat, and drink with you.

The service then continues from The Great Thanksgiving of any of the Liturgies of the Eucharist.

A Householder’s Prayer and A Blessing of Peace are included in the Eucharistic section Prayer after Communion at some appropriate point.


Shared Meal

A shared meal for those present may be held at any point of the service after the Blessing in the Home is concluded (pages 765-771), but it is appropriate that A Blessing of Peace is the conclusion of the whole occasion.

For Various Circumstances

The variety of situations in which this service may be used means that it may take a number of different forms according to circumstances.

It may not be possible to begin the service at the gate or to move onto the land or to go round the house, in which case The Approach is altered accordingly, or the service may begin at the Entry.

It may on occasion be necessary for some of the group to remain in the living area while the service proceeds.

In special circumstances it may be appropriate for the priest alone to read the service.


Some Possible Forms of the Service

(Approach)
Entry
Blessing in the Home
Eucharist
A Householder’s Prayer
Shared Meal
A Blessing of Peace
(Approach)
Entry
Blessing in the Home
The Family Liturgy
A Householder’s Prayer
Shared Meal
A Blessing of Peace

(Approach)
Entry
Blessing in the Home
A Householder’s Prayer
A Blessing of Peace
(Approach)
Blessing in the Home
The Family Liturgy
Eucharist
A Householder’s Prayer
A Blessing of Peace

(Approach)
Blessing in the Home
The Family Liturgy
A Householder’s Prayer
A Blessing of Peace

A New Zealand Prayer Book | He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa

Go to: Contents Page