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Catholic Prayer: Book of Blessings: Blessing of Homes During the Christmas and Easter Seasons

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1597 When the faithful wish to have their homes blessed, the priest or deacon should gladly assist them. The Christmas season, especially the feast of the Epiphany, and the Easter season are traditional times when homes may be blessed.

1598 The structure of the rite and its chief elements are always to be maintained, but the individual parts of the rite can be selected in such a way that the celebration is better adapted to the season and the other circumstances.

1599 A home should not be blessed unless those who live in it are present.

1600 These orders may be used by a priest or a deacon, and also by a layperson, who follows the rites and prayers designated for a lay minister.

Prayer:

I. ORDER OF BLESSING

INTRODUCTORY RITES

1601 When the community has gathered, a suitable song may be sung. After the singing, the minister says: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

All make the sign of the cross and reply: Amen.

1602 A minister who is a priest or deacon greets those present in the following or other suitable words, taken mainly from sacred Scripture. Peace be with this house and with all who live here.

And all reply: And also with you.

1603 A lay minister greets those present in the following words: Let us praise God, who fills our hearts and homes with peace. Blessed be God for ever.

R. Blessed be God for ever.

1604 In the following or similar words, the minister prepares those present for the blessing. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling place among us. It is Christ who enlightens our hearts and homes with his love. It is Christ, risen from the dead, who is our source of hope, joy, and comfort. May all who enter this home find Christ's light and love.

READING OF THE WORD OF GOD

1605 A reader, another person present, or the minister reads a text of sacred Scripture.

(For Epiphany) Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the holy gospel according to Luke:

19:1-9 Today salvation has come to this house. Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house." And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner." But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham."

1606 Or: (For Easter) Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the holy gospel according to Luke:

24:28-32 Stay with us, Lord. As the disciples approached the village to which they were going, Jesus gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over." So he went in to stay with them. And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?"

1607 Or: John 20:19-21--Jesus came and said, "Peace be with you." (For Easter)

1608 As circumstances suggest, one of the following responsorial psalms may be sung, or some other suitable song.

R. Happy are those who fear the Lord.

Psalm 112 Happy the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commands. His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth; the upright generation shall be blessed. R.

Wealth and riches shall be in his house; his generosity shall endure forever. He dawns through the darkness, a light for the upright! he is gracious and merciful and just. R.

Well for the man who is gracious and lends, who conducts his affairs with justice; He shall never be moved; the just man shall be in everlasting remembrance. R.

An evil report he shall not fear; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD. His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear till he looks down upon his foes. R.

Lavishly he gives to the poor; his generosity shall endure forever; his horn shall be exalted in glory. R.

(For Epiphany) R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

Psalm 72 O God, with your judgment endow the king, and with your justice, the king's son; He shall govern your people with justice and your afflicted ones with judgment. R.

Justice shall flower in his days, and profound peace, till the moon be no more. May he rule from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. R.

The kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts; the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute. All kings shall pay him homage, all nations shall serve him. R.

For he shall rescue the poor man when he cries out, and the afflicted when he has no one to help him. He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor; the lives of the poor he shall save. R.

Psalm 127:1, 2, 3-4, 5 R. (see v. 1) May the Lord build us a home.

Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4, 5-6 R. (v. 1) All those who fear the Lord will be blessed.

Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24 R. (v. 1) Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

1609 As circumstances suggest, the minister may give those present a brief explanation of the biblical text, so that they may understand through faith the meaning of the celebration.

INTERCESSIONS

1610 The intercessions are then said. The minister introduces them and an assisting minister or one of those present announces the intentions. From the following those best suited to the occasion may be used or adapted, or other intentions that apply to the particular circumstances may be composed.

The minister says: The Son of God made his home among us. With thanks and praise let us call upon him.

R. Stay with us, Lord.

Assisting minister: Lord Jesus Christ, with Mary and Joseph you formed the Holy Family: remain in our home, that we may know you as our guest and honor you as our head. We pray: R.

Assisting minister: Lord Jesus Christ, through you every dwelling is a temple of holiness: build those who live in this house into the dwelling place of God in the Holy Spirit. We pray: R.

Assisting minister: Lord Jesus Christ, you taught your followers to build their houses upon solid rock: grant that the members of this family may live their lives in firm allegiance to your teachings. We pray: R.

Assisting minister: Lord Jesus Christ, you had no place to lay your head, but in the spirit of poverty accepted the hospitality of your friends: grant that through our help the homeless may obtain proper housing. We pray: R.

Assisting minister: (For Christmas) Lord Jesus Christ, you became flesh of the Virgin Mary: grant that your presence may be known always in this home. We pray: R.

Assisting minister: (For Epiphany) Lord Jesus Christ, the three kings presented their gifts to you in praise and adoration: grant that those living in this house may use their talents and abilities to your greater glory. We pray: R.

Assisting minister: (For Easter) Lord Jesus Christ, the disciples recognized you in the breaking of the bread: grant that the members of this family may be open always to the presence of Christ in word and sacrament. We pray: R.

Assisting minister: (For Easter) Lord Jesus Christ, you appeared to the frightened apostles and said, "Peace be with you": grant that your abiding peace may remain with the members of this family. We pray: R.

1611 After the intercessions the minister, in the following or similar words, invites all present to sing or say the Lord's Prayer. As children of God we confidently pray:

All: Our Father . . .

PRAYER OF BLESSING

1612 A minister who is a priest or deacon says the prayer of blessing with hands outstretched; a lay minister says the prayer with hands joined.

A) For the Christmas season

Lord God of heaven and earth, you revealed your only-begotten Son to every nation by the guidance of a star.

Bless this house and all who inhabit it. Fill them with the light of Christ, that their concern for others may reflect your love.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

B) For the Easter season

Lord, we rejoice in the victory of your Son over death: by rising from the tomb to new life he gives us new hope and promise.

Bless all the members of this household and surround them with your protection, that they may find comfort and peace in Jesus Christ, the paschal lamb, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

R. Amen.

1613 As circumstances suggest, the minister in silence may sprinkle those present and the home with holy water. During the sprinkling the minister may say: Let this water call to mind our baptism in Christ, who by his death and resurrection has redeemed us.

CONCLUDING RITE

1614 A minister who is a priest or deacon concludes the rite by saying: May Christ Jesus dwell with you, keep you from all harm, and make you one in mind and heart, now and for ever. R. Amen.

Then he blesses all present. And may almighty God bless you all, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit. R. Amen.

1615 A lay minister concludes the rite by signing himself or herself with the sign of the cross and saying: May Christ Jesus dwell with us, keep us from all harm, and make us one in mind and heart, now and for ever. R. Amen.

1616 It is preferable to end the celebration with a suitable song.

II. SHORTER RITE

1617 All make the sign of the cross as the minister says: Blessed be the name of the Lord.

All reply: Now and for ever.

1618 One of those present or the minister reads a text of sacred Scripture, for example: (For Epiphany) Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the holy gospel according to Luke:

19:1-9 Today salvation has come to this house. Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house." And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner." But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.

1619 Or: (For Easter) Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the holy gospel according to Luke:

24:28-32 Stay with us, Lord. As the disciples approached the village to which they were going, Jesus gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over." So he went in to stay with them. And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?"

1620 Or: John 20:19-21--Jesus came and said, "Peace be with you." (For Easter)

1621 A minister who is a priest or deacon says the prayer of blessing with hands outstretched; a lay minister says the prayer with hands joined.

A) For the Christmas season

Lord God of heaven and earth, you revealed your only-begotten Son to every nation by the guidance of a star.

Bless this house and all who inhabit it. Fill them with the light of Christ, that their concern for others may reflect your love.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

B) For the Easter season

Lord, we rejoice in the victory of your Son over death: by rising from the tomb to new life he gives us new hope and promise.

Bless all the members of this household and surround them with your protection, that they may find comfort and peace in Jesus Christ, the paschal lamb, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

R. Amen.

Prayer Source: Book of Blessings by Prepared by International Commission on English in the Liturgy A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops' Conferences, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1989
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