ASK FATHER: Should I ask for my home to be blessed, but with the Roman Ritual and not the Book of Blessings?

From a reader…


Thank you very much for your continued ministry to all of us who depend on you for clarity in these uncertain times.

I have read many of your posts regarding blessings and I am still somewhat confused. I wish to have my home blessed, I am a convert and have never done so before. However, I have no interest in the sort of good feelings blessing found in the Book of Blessings. Would it be appropriate to ask my parish priest to use a blessing found in the Roman Ritual? Would the blessing need to be done in Latin? Would it be appropriate to remind him to bring blessed salt?

Thank you very much for your time and attention. Please be assured of my prayers.

That’s a good question!   People should have their houses or dwellings blessed.  As a matter of fact in Italy there is still a custom of the local priest going around through neighborhoods to bless dwellings.   Some days in advance, posters are put up in the streets that Father is going to be in the area to bless homes.  When I did this, people were very eager for the annual blessing.  You would go usually with a couple of altar boys to hold things and to carry a basket or two for things that people would give you, such as a bottle of olive oil from their trees, an envelope with money, some eggs from their chickens.  I got a live chicken once.

It is reasonable to ask for the use of the Roman Ritual.  Remember, however, that the blessing in the Ritual is to be done in LATIN.  Some priests don’t have a great facility with Latin.  That could be a problem.   However, a good natured priest will rise to the challenge of doing the blessing in Latin, which isn’t very long.

Even if Father has a hard time with the Latin, it would be better for him to use the Roman Ritual than the dreadful Book of Blessings.  Frankly, I am not sure that there is a specific “blessing” (read: invocation of happy thoughts) for homes in the BoB, at least in the Latin edition.  New houses, maybe.

You should have a big box of salt handy for Father to exorcise and bless, if he hasn’t brought Holy Water.  That salt can be used in blessing Holy Water, can be scattered around your property, and be can be used in food.  That’s a longer prayer, of course.  I made a PRAYERCAzT about the Latin for blessing Holy Water: HERE.

I could be persuaded, were a priest to ask, to record the Latin of the blessings.   I’m not set up yet for really high quality recording yet, but I’d figure something out.

There are prayers for the blessing of homes or places for Holy Saturday and the rest of the Easter Season and then also three prayers for outside of Paschal Time, all three truly lovely in their imagery and content.

BTW… here is a tip, because you don’t know what went on in places and you want the very best environment.

If you move to a new place or do some renovations, such as painting, before you do anything get the priest to come and read the Chapter III exorcism and then go around to every nook and cranny and sprinkle Holy Water.  Every nook, seriously.  Open even every cupboard and drawer. The day I took possession of my new abode, I read Chapter III simultaneously with a priest friend and them we went through the whole place with Holy Water.  I also recently painted my new digs.  Before priming, I anointed every wall with crosses with Oil of the Catechumens, used in the Rite of Baptism for exorcism.  With the plates off the outlets I put in Benedict medals and oil.  I pulled up carpet in a couple of rooms and anointed the floors and, where there were cracks, put in a little more oil.   Those crosses are there now, under the paint and flooring.  They aren’t going anywhere, can’t be removed.

Take that, Scratch!



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Josephus Corvus says:

    HOWEVER, if you ask your local priest to come over to bless your abode, regardless of which blessing he uses, please do not make him or the altar boy stand under a suspended load as he seems to be doing in that picture. Not sure what that crate is doing up there, but we know that the devil doesn’t like priests and if that priest isn’t done sprinkling the whole house with Holy Water yet, that rope might just “accidentally” break.

  2. Joe in Canada says:

    If you do the recording, could a Latin-less priest play the recording and mouth the words?

    [A priest could use the recordings as an aid to his pronunciation of the Latin as he works to learn Latin.]

  3. I expect that roast chicken tasted specially good. :-)

  4. Suburbanbanshee says:

    St. Bernardo of Corleone was given an old slaughtered hen, and he was going to make it into soup for his superior, who was sickly. The superior was annoyed and ordered Bernardo to give back the chicken.

    So St. Bernardo sets out, embarrassed, to give this woman back her chicken, and he was praying all the way. And when he got there, the old hen was alive and had all her feathers back. She wasn’t any younger, but she had a newly youthful attitude, and proceeded to be a good layer of eggs for years and years. The woman of the house bred her, and the reanimated hen’s descendants still live in Corleone.

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