Saturday, January 10, 2009

To Jordan's Waters...

Christ comes to be baptized! 
John the forerunner now humbly steps aside. 
Christ the Lord is baptized, 
Salvation is now realized. 
Skies of heaven open, God the Father spoken. 
O'er the Jordan a dove, Holy Spirit of Love, 
Revelation from above. 
Ahh, house blessing season :)  Following the feast of Theophany (Christ's baptism in the Jordan, where God is revealed as Trinity), in the Byzantine church, the tradition is to have the priest bless each household in the parish. This year, we were lucky enough to spend Theophany with T's folks and it was a blast! We prepared all sorts of yummy dishes, cleaned the house like mad (from the corners of the ceilings to the top of the baseboards!), and even managed to install the late-in-arriving dishwasher before Fr. Joseph arrived.  Props to the guys on this one
I love the ritual of house blessing.  While the priest goes around the house (led by the head of the household) blessing each room, the families sing the above song.  Having been raised Roman Catholic, I would tease Taylor (when we first started dating) saying, "Well, Roman house blessings last longer--we only need to do it once and it stays."  :)  But I really do like the idea of blessing your house every year. Most people give their house a good thorough cleaning every year--why not bless it, too? There's no such thing as being too blessed. 
Besides, it gives you an opportunity to open your home to several other families/households in the parish and for the priest to see your home and your domestic altar.  It provides an opportunity to welcome the faith community into your own little domestic church.  I always loved it when my parish priest back home came to Momma's New Years Eve open house--being able to sit in a more comfortable environment with the priest, I think, is very important. Mass (or Liturgy) and confession and marriage preparation and lectures and classes are all very important and good.  But it's also very important to get to know the priest as himself.  
Mum and Fr. Joseph talked about bee hives after the blessing, while Father sipped burbon.  It was good :) 

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