House Warming

Plan a family-friendly blessing for your new home

It was a Sunday night worship experience I'll never forget. There was singing, Scripture reading, and heartfelt prayer. No, it wasn't at church. It wasn't even a church service. It was a house blessing at the home of our close friends.

The concept of a house blessing isn't new. Moses talked about writing God's commands on our doorframes and our gates in Deuteronomy 6:9. In fact, many Christian traditions, such as the Episcopal Church, have used the house blessing for centuries. But while these formal house blessings are typically performed by a priest, anyone can invite God to be part of a family dwelling. It can be a quiet occasion, or a new take on a housewarming party. Either way, a house blessing will help your family feel settled in your new abode.

That sense of home is especially important for children. According to Carol Burge, a marriage and family counselor in suburban Chicago, children look at their home differently when it is set apart by prayer. She says, "Children need their home to be a place of refuge from the world. A house blessing reminds them that the Holy Spirit is present in every room of their house."

The Heart of the Home

Peter and Elizabeth Roskam, a couple in our church fellowship group, had just moved across town. In the midst of moving boxes and painting walls they asked if I would help them lead their young family in a ceremony of dedication. I'd never been asked to be part of anything quite like this before. It sounded meaningful—and fun—so I said yes.

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