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.
Traditions of the ceremony differ according to local custom, but these general guidelines should are observed:
A candle with an icon and some holy water should be placed in a suitable place, such as kitchen or dining room table, or a home altar.
Also, a list of first names for whom prayers are to be offered, including members of the family and all those living in the house. The list should have a clear distinction between the living an the dead.
If it is the practice to give the priest a gift, it should not be placed with the holy objects on the table. It can be prepared in advanced, but given at the conclusion of the service.
When the priest comes, all who are present in the house should gather around the icon with the candle. They should, if they are able to join in, say theTrisagion Prayers and sing of the Troparion of the Feast of Epiphany. Then a family member leads the priest through the house with the candle. As he goes, he sprinkles holy water, and prays for a blessing upon each room and the activity that goes on there. When they have gone through the entire house, the family gathers again around the table and the priest blesses each person present.
Amen. Trisagion Prayer. All Holy Trinity … Our Father. (see page 32).
Let us pray to the Lord. Lord have mercy.
Our God and Savior, True Light, Who was baptized in the Jordan by the Prophet John, and Who did deign to enter under the roof-tree of Zacchaeus, bringing salvation unto him and unto his house: do You, the same Lord, keep safe also from harm those who dwell herein; grant to them Your blessing, purification and bodily health, and all their petitions that are unto salvation and Life everlasting; for blessed are You, as also Your Father Who is without origin, and Your All; Holy, Good and Life; creating Spirit, both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
And the Priest shall bless the whole house with Holy Water, saying:
When You in Jordan …
May He Who condescended to be baptized in the river Jordan by the Forerunner and Prophet John, for our salvation, through the intercessions of His immaculate Mother, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, and of all the Saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is our good and loving Lord.
The Priest proclaims:
Grant, O Lord, a prosperous and peaceful life, health and salvation, and the furtherance of all good things to all Your servants (Names)who dwell herein, and preserve them for many years.
Reader: Many years! (3)