A tradition of the Armenian Church
One of the holy traditions of the Armenian Church is the Home Blessing Service, which according to St. Gregory of Datev was established by Our Savior Jesus Christ, when after His Resurrection He entered the upper room and blessed the disciples. When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." (John. 20:19)
During the apostolic times, the twelve apostles of Jesus visited the homes of the faithful to bless them and to spread the good news of Christ's birth and His Resurrection. Likewise their followers - priests and bishops, entered the homes of the faithful on the occasions of Christmas (Theophany) and Easter (Holy Resurrection) to tell the good news of our Lord's Nativity and to bless them and their homes through a special Service.
Through the Home Blessing Service, the house of the faithful becomes a small church. 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:2 ). During the Service the priest prays to God and asks Him to keep the home, its inhabitants, and the children in good health, so that they live a devout life, glorify the name of Almighty God and heighten the Holy Church.
Love and peace are established in the sanctified home. Therefore, it is desirable that the faithful devoutly keep the graces from heaven, which filled their homes. But if sinful behavior dominates in the house it can never become a the church inhabited by the Holy Trinity, saints and angels.
According to the sacred traditions of the Armenian Church, God's blessing is asked for homes on different occasions, like on the Nativity and the Resurrection of Christ, as well as on the joyous occasion of moving into a new home.
The peace and warm atmosphere of faithful families are so important to the church that the church fathers always preached to keep long-lasting peace. They testify that sacredness and peace are disturbed because of sinful behavior by members of the family. Therefore if there is no peace, understanding of sacredness, love, unity and harmony, God's blessings can never be given. Thus the place which is devoid of the Lord's protection will naturally be full of evil or devils, which "Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour." (1Peter 5:8).
However priestly prayers and blessings alone are not enough to renew our spiritual life and to remove the evil from our homes. Great faith is needed from the individual to receive blessing and healing, as well as for communing with the divine graces "Then he touched their eyes and said, "According to your faith let it be done to you." (Matthew 9:29 ), faith, repentance, prayers and fasting are expected from the family members, because "But this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting" (Matthew 17:20 ).
It is desirable and encouraging that the devout faithful attend church and invite a priest to conduct the service of the home blessing on Christmas, Easter and on other occasions. That Service is of great importance and necessary for every Christian both for the peace of soul and blessing of home items.
All parishioners who wish to have their homes blessed should call the Church Office (708) 388-4940 or Der Tavit (708) 843-1592 to make arrangements. Have a piece of bread, dish of salt and glass of water available for the blessing.