Ask a Franciscan

Blessing of a Home

Q: I would like information on the proper way to have a home blessed. What does it entail and who performs it?

A: The Roman Ritual (Book of Blessings) provides blessings of a home for two occasions. One is the blessing of a new home which can be done at any time. The other is a blessing for homes during the Christmas season, especially on the feast of the Epiphany, and the Easter season.

The directives for both situations say a priest, deacon or layperson may perform the blessings. If a layperson gives the blessing, the person is to use the rites and prayers designated for a lay minister.

The Book of Blessings directs that the blessing should not be given unless those who live in the home are present—you don’t just bless empty living quarters.

How do you arrange for the blessing? You call your parish priest and simply ask if he will come and bless your home. You can make as much of the occasion as you or he wishes. You can offer some refreshment or invite him for dinner if you wish. If he is blessing a number of homes at the same time, he may simply want to perform the blessing and move to the next home.

In the event a priest or deacon is unable to come to the home, I see nothing to keep the head of the household from blessing the home in the presence of the family.

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