While house blessings are a tradition in many religions, the idea was new to me when I moved into my first home and wanted somehow to mark the occasion and ask for God’s protection and peace. After talking to friends, researching the idea, and remembering a sermon about how Joshua walked the perimeter of his property and asked for God’s blessing (Joshua 24:15), I decided to do the same for my new home.
I discovered that Los Angeles pastors reported a rise in house blessings, especially following an earthquake or natural disaster. Although earthquakes weren’t much of a threat in my Texas town, I gathered a few friends and family and prepared a simple ceremony using Bible verses and hymns.
Scott and I did the same upon purchasing a new home together our second year of marriage.
As we met outside the front door, we prayed for blessings upon each who may enter. Our circle of friends joined us in each room and we offered prayers to dedicate our home “to happiness, to hopefulness and to health.” We prayed that it would always be a haven of peace and joy.
At the end, as is customary in many house blessing ceremonies, we wrote in chalk above the doorway: “19 * C * M * B * 96” for Christus Mansiones Benedictus (the Latin phrase for “Christ Blesses this Home”). These marks still remain and are a fitting reminder of God’s protection.
For some reason—I suppose in the swirl of life with two little ones at the time—we never held a house blessing for the home we’re now living in. We moved in more than 7 years ago. Remembering that “7” is the number throughout the Bible representing completion, I’m thinking now would be a nice marker in time to invite our community to gather with us to pray again—that the lives of those who live here would be rich in joy and that those who come under our roof would be filled with gladness and peace.
How have you celebrated when inhabiting a new place? Open House? Party? Blessing?