Theophany house blessings

House blessings can be scheduled via on the web.  The link is

Please sign up AT LEAST 24 hours in advance!  Same-day signups may be unable to be fulfilled!

A bit of background:  Houses are traditionally blessed with Holy Water each year bringing the blessings of the Waters sanctified on the Feast of Theophany, the celebration of our Lord’s baptism. The priest brings this Water into the home to personally bless each family member by renewing the awareness of God’s presence in our homes.  A house can be blessed at any time, but the usual season for annual blessings is immediately following Theophany.

The house blessing should be scheduled when the entire family will be present, if at all possible. Your priest understands that this will often be in the evening hours which is not considered an inconvenience to him. To schedule your House Blessing please visit the following site:

When coming to the home, the priest brings everything needed for the blessing, but the family should make the following two arrangements:

Have a written list of the names of all living members of the household, along with the names of anyone else to be included in prayer.

If the house has an icon corner, the candle(s) may be lit, as well as a censer if available. Otherwise, a clean table with a cloth on it should be prepared. The house should be free of clutter, with all radios and televisions off during the Blessing.

The priest will bless all rooms of the house. In homes with children, it is nice for the little ones to carry a candle or the priest’s cross and “lead” the priest throughout the house. An adult member of the house may also do this. While the home is blessed, the priest will lead the family in singing the Theophany Troparion (main hymn) repeatedly until the whole house is blessed.

For students or those with non-Orthodox roommates:  Please be sure the ritual is OK with your roommates, and any restrictions they may have about entering their space, blessing the common space, etc.  It is better to bless your own room yourself than to create conflict with those you live with over a Church ritual!

If you live outside of Ames, the Church will pay mileage to Fr. Marty from Ames to the place being blessed.  If you would like to reimburse the Church for this expense, the rate being paid is 65.5 cents per mile from 621 Kellogg Avenue, Ames, Iowa 50010 to the place being blessed.

It is a pious custom among some to give the priest a gratuity or donation (sometimes called “trebe”) at this time but this is in no way expected. In the same way, while many families enjoy hosting the priest to a meal or snack, this too is not expected and often impossible due to other scheduled house blessings.  Because of time constraints, meals will not typically be possible for Fr. Marty. The house blessing does, however, provide an opportunity for the priest to spend dedicated time alone with the family, answering any questions anyone may have or addressing any issues for which he may be of some help or support.  Fr. Marty is planning 45 minutes, however this may be cut short if there is a drive associated with a second blessing that evening.