Blessings provide an opportunity for us to thank God for any number of gifts received, including the gifts of life and health, material gifts like homes and cars, and religious objects which shift our attention from this world to the divine. As a parish family, we often share prayers of blessing to mark special occasions like graduations, anniversaries, Mother's Day, Father's Day, and Grandparent's Day.
To schedule blessing, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or a clergy member directly
Native American Blessing
The Feast of Lights (Ton Photon)
On January 6 the faithful attend a Divine Liturgy and the Great Blessing of the Water service to celebrate Theophany, also called “Ton Photon” (“Feast of Lights”) concerning the spiritual illumination of the Holy Spirit. The service commemorates the baptism of Christ and the manifestation of God in three persons. Scores of people attend church to be blessed and to receive holy water which they take home in small bottles provided by the church. Some parishioners bring their bottles often made specifically for holy water.
Blessing of the Home
It is customary, to invite your priest to bless your home with holy water within a few weeks following Theophany. Prepare by cleaning the house and opening and lighting all the rooms. The items needed for a house blessing are:
Icon of Christ
Large serving bowl for the Holy Water
A sprig of basil leaves (available at the grocery store.)
Many of these items can be purchased in a Catholic bookstore. Place the items on a small table. The priest blesses the water by dipping a cross in it and repeating a blessing. Using the basil sprig dipped in water as a sprinkler, he will go to each room and sprinkle it in the four corners blessing the home with the grace of the Holy Spirit which also protects you from evil spirits. Save some of the holy water in a bottle in your ikonostasi (home altar) and pour the remainder on plants. Although ideal, all family members do not need to be present for the house blessing. House Blessings are a yearly tradition.
This blessing may be performed throughout the year by request.
Personal Use of Holy Water
It is believed that Holy water has the power to sanctify and heal. Have each family member drink a small amount of the holy water from Epiphany or the home blessing. Keep the unused holy water in your home ikonostasi for future use: times of adversity, before starting a new venture or trip, to give thanks, or when someone is ill. You may drink it or anoint yourself when you feel spiritually afflicted. To rid the house of evil spirits, it should be sprinkled in the four corners of each room so that no one will step on it.
Mystics say the Native American practice of smudging or purifying a room with the smoke of sacred herbs, can help clear negative energy from a space. And the apparent benefits are steeped in science—when burned, sage and other herbs release negative ions, which research has linked to a more positive mood.
Ekklēsía Iwigá's Power of Prayer (POP®) Ministry is composed of parishioners, who, under the direction of our pastor participate in prayer work to bring spiritual assistance to those who need it.
Birthdays and anniversaries provide a special occasion for giving thanks to God for the years of life, health, and love that we enjoy. Though we regularly recognize birthdays and anniversaries at our weekly Sunday Masses, some people prefer to host special celebrations of these events with family and friends.
Please do not hesitate to approach any priest or deacon to appropriately mark such an occasion with a Mass and/or with prayers of thanksgiving and blessing.
Presentación de Tres Años
Within cultures that traditionally possessed higher rates of infant mortality, the Presentación de Tres Años provided an opportunity for parents to thank God for the gift of life received by their children. Traditionally celebrated on the fortieth day of life or on the infant's third birthday, the presentación is a way in which we join together in thanking God for the life of the child and in which we ask for God's continued blessings on him or her.
If you wish to celebrate a presentación, please visit the parish office, or please speak with the priest or deacon with whom you wish to celebrate this important moment.
Parish clergy may receive honoraria and gifts from baptisms, weddings, quinceañeras, home blessings, and funerals, but it is important to note that clergy never charges any fees for his or her services. Free-will offerings (The Law of Amra) are often made to him or her or to the parish. As given to us by Christ (Matt 10:8), it is sinful, sacrilegious, and rude for any cleric to ask for money while performing his or her sacred ministry.