Friday, January 7, 2011

The Blessing of the House

This morning I experienced my first "house blessing".  I had heard that here in Romanian during Christmas and after the New Year, a priest (either Orthodox or Catholic) comes to the apartments and houses to "bless the house".  I had never heard of this before, and thought it was a pretty good idea-who doesn't want a blessing for the New Year? So I was excited for the day when the priest would come with his bells, incense and blessings for my humble abode.

I soon found out that I had missed him! He came while I was at school. I was disappointed that I had missed out on the blessing and told my mentor so.  She too, had missed the priest and so while she was attending Mass she asked him if he would be so kind as to come back for round two.  She called me up and asked "So you want to be blessed? Be ready tomorrow at eight am.  Oh, and make sure your house is clean, he goes in every room." WIN! I did a quick scan of my home, it was already cleaned, so I simply put some laundry away, shoved my shoes in the closet and was ready. 

At eight fifteen this morning the priest and another woman arrived. He was wearing his long black robe, a cross and a hat and he carried a bible.  The woman with him was carrying the incense burner (sorry I don't know the real name for it) and it looked like this:
They entered the house, and started saying prayers.  After the prayer, he gave me a blessing and held out a cross for me to kiss. I crossed myself (as I saw my mentor do) and kissed the wooden cross.  He then grabbed incense and lit it, carrying it to each room while praying for the house, the health of it's occupants and for a prosperous year. That looked like this:
The house was filled with a beautiful aroma and sounds of prayer and I stood in silence taking it all in. The woman and my mentor were praying with him, but I just tried to understand the Romanian and the process.  When he was done, he gave me a little card with a picture of Mary, Joseph and Jesus and then he was off, on his way and out the door. What a cool experience.

I rushed to school, ready for my 12th grade class but more than that I was ready for this new year. It is hard to believe that I've been in country for almost eight months, and have taught a half a year of school already.  When I'm rushing around, focused on school and projects and keeping in touch with everyone from home and integrating into my community and making new friends, it is nice to have these types of experiences such as the blessing and prayers from the Priest to stop me in my tracks and remind me to soak it all in, don't take a moment for granted, and appreciate all that I am learning here in Romania.

Live your life everyday, remember to soak in the moments, and never forget to make memories that last a lifetime.


  1. It's a censer, Sara. What a wonderful experience...

  2. i like this article ! i`m happy that you have written about this experience.silvia