|Day||Civil Date||Church Date||Comment|
|SAT||01/19||01/06||THEOPHANY. Time for a few house blessings, from noon till 3 PM|
|SUN||01/20||01/07||Sunday after Theophany. Blessing from 1 PM till about 6PM.|
|MON||01/21||01/08||From Noon till whenever|
|WED||01/23||01/09||After Liturgy, from Noon to whenever|
During the day, until 2 PM
|SAT||01/26||01/12||All day, until 2 PM|
|SUN||01/27||01/13||After Liturgy, from Noon to whenever|
We, as Christians, are engaged in this struggle to reclaim fallen nature for the Kingdom of God. We often talk about this in terms of our own salvation, but the Church, addressing all of creation in a wholistic manner, also reaches out and reclaims a bit here and a bit there of creation in general. We do this in order that we might restore the usefulness of creation for working out our own salvation. Hence we bless anything that might help us in our salvation - and by blessing it we reclaim it for the Kingdom of God.
There are few things more vital to our lives than our homes. In our homes we pray, we work, we talk to others, we order our lives, we work out our marriages, etc. What more important place to reclaim for the Kingdom of God - or is it better to continue living in a place which is occupied by the enemy. For the most effective working out of our salvation, we must drive the enemy out of our homes, and keep him at bay by our prayers, our righteous life, and the annual sprinkling by Holy Water at Theophany.
(From a Post to the Orthodox mailing list, dated April 30, 1996 by Priest David Moser, St Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Church, 872 N 29th St, Boise ID
Used with permission ) Available at http://www.orthodox.net/articles/whybless.html
It is a long-standing tradition in Holy Orthodoxy that the homes of all the faithful be blessed yearly, after the blessed feast of Theophany. The power of water to sanctify and transform is amply demonstrated in baptism, and we believe that God chooses to bless us through holy objects and actions, such as the relics of those who have pleased God, holy icons, oil and water. The priest usually prays a short service of supplication and then blesses all living areas of the house with "Jordan water", while singing the troparion for Theophany. In this way, the home of a Christian is "marked" and sanctified. "Jordan water" is the blessed water from the Great Blessing of the Waters, performed right after the Divine liturgy on the feast of Theophany.
When the priest arrives, the home should be very clean, and picked up. The doors to all rooms except the bathrooms should be open. It is good to have a small table set up, with a cloth on it, and a candle. If the family has an icon of the Theophany, it can be placed there, along with any other icons that are well loved in the family. The best place to put this table is before the family's icon corner. A censer may be burning. The priest will start a short service, in which the principle action is to walk throughout the house and bless every room with the Holy Water. The family should accompany the priest, who follows the eldest of the family (or in our variation, one of the children), who holds a candle and walks throughout the house. Everyone should be singing the Troparion for Theophany during this blessing.
Theophany resources, including a sermon by St John Maximovitch and St John Chrysostom are at http://www.orthodox.net/theophany/index.html