We had never blessed our house.
I had always wanted our house blessed but I thought you needed a priest to do it. My house is never really clean enough, or my life organized enough, to invite a priest over to bless our house. So, we had lived here for eleven years, and never blessed the place we call home.
Before we purchased it and moved in, our house had quite a colorful history from what we’ve heard from neighbors. One of the previous owners had left the state giving the home to their son who invited his friends in to live and party with him. They would sit up drinking and blaring loud music into the wee hours of the morning (according to a neighbor who witnessed it). The house, though it had been rehabbed by an investor before we bought it, showed signs of abuse and neglect when we moved in.
Even under our ownership, things have been less than perfect here. There have been disagreements, misunderstandings, and even fights. We have been known to snap at each other impatiently, to grumble and complain when we are feeling less than grateful, to give in to laziness, gluttony, greed, selfishness, etc.... I know, it is hard to believe but we live a less than virtuous life, at times. Have we allowed evil in?!?!?!?! Perhaps, upon occasion.
Needless to say, these walls needed blessing.
A few weeks ago, after a particularly bad day, I vented to my spiritual director about how hard life had been. She suggested blessing our house and then proceeded to tell me how to go about it. She said not only was it okay for the head of the house to be the one praying over the rooms, but, as the head of our domestic church, it was actually best for Tim to be the one presiding over our home blessing ceremony. She instructed me to get some blessed salt and holy water and, while Tim led the prayers, to sprinkle the rooms generously with both.
Blessed salt? I had never heard of blessed salt. My spiritual director assured me it was a legitimate sacramental and that it was also quite effective in driving out evil spirits.
Still a little doubtful but very curious, I went home and did some research. Here, here, and here is some of what I read about blessed salt. It all sounded good to me.
We got some salt and had it blessed by our pastor. Then, with our children, some holy water and our newly blessed salt, we prayed over and ask God’s blessing on each of the rooms of our house. Here are the prayers we used.
I would like to say that since then our home has been a place of beautiful peace. That now freed of all evil spirits, the atmosphere of the house, and those living within its walls, are more holy, more pious, and more righteous but that is not quite true. Things have been just a little bit more peaceful and our conflicts have been resolved just a little more quickly. Luckily, we still have lots of blessed salt left, and lots of holy water around….