Friday, June 30, 2017

A House Blessed

I've always wanted to do a home blessing. It always seemed like such a special thing to have done for our family. I've also always put it off because it would mean cleaning, and crowding extra people into a too small house, and keeping children's behavior in check.

I really wish we had done it sooner because it turned out to be such a memorable night for our family.

First of all, Fr. Silvio had been talking about house blessings at Mass for a few weeks. Then Fr. Joe announced his re-assignment and I knew we had to get moving. I picked the week of VBS, not because I'm crazy (well the jury is still out on that one...) but because I knew Ken and I would both be on vacation that week and better able to host dinner.

Because of course, we couldn't just have a home blessing, we needed to offer up dinner as well.

Oh, and by the way, we have a seminarian deacon in town for the summer, so let's just bring him along too!!

We had the house clean for Henry's birthday party, so my plan was to just leave it that way for the next week.

I know. I feel like an amateur!

Anyway, I planned a menu, hid the laundry, and added a leaf to the table. We made the plan for Tuesday and used the weekend before to get most of the new mess cleaned up.

The kids were really excited about this new thing called "having people over." The plan was for dinner at 6, so around, oh...3:30 that afternoon they made a schedule of who would ask, "When are they coming?" every ten minutes.

Henry actually wanted to "go outside to the porch with a top hat to greet them." Unfortunately, he wanted to do this starting at 5, and we don't actually own a top hat.

When they finally arrived, I knew right away because it was 6:00 and I had figured they would be punctual. Also because all the kids starting screaming, "They're here!" and running in and out of the house.

I welcome all three gentlemen at the front door and stood there briefly to chat with Fr. Silvio and to meet Deacon Nick. Unbeknownst to me, Fr. Joe had made himself at home and was already sliding across our empty living room in his sock feet with the boys.

I managed to get everyone calmed down enough to get to the table and we started dinner. The food turned out quite well in my opinion. We had roasted pork, scalloped potatoes, fresh rolls, steamed broccoli, and baby carrots. I had considered a bottle of wine, but actually forgot to serve it. This turned out to be a good thing.

Dinner went along and the kids actually pretended to have manners. In my head, I was planning on doing the house blessing after dinner and then coming back to sit down for dessert. I'm glad my plan got derailed.

Deacon Nick asked about a shrub in our backyard that he could see through the dining room window. I had no idea what it was, so he asked if he could take a look at it. We all wandered out to the backyard and of course, Henry got sidetracked by our swing. And then so did Fr. Joe. And in the end, everyone except Ken took a turn in the swing. Henry took a lot of turns in the many, and so fast, in fact, that he lost his dinner...twice! Thankfully he made it to the bathroom both times and that didn't actually stop him from wanting to spin some more on the swing later.
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I went in to put away some of dinner and looked out my kitchen window to see an impromptu soccer game in my backyard. My Martha tendencies didn't last too long before I was back outside sitting on the patio chatting with the priests while the kids played soccer. We chatted for a long time and it was such a normal thing to do. I don't know why I had thought it wouldn't be. It was both light and fun, but with a touch of the pastoral that made me feel really safe and comfortable.

It was getting close to bedtimes and I knew the behavior wouldn't hold out much longer, so I wrapped things up and got everyone back in the house. Fr. Silvio and Fr. Joe let both Henry and Frances hold the book for the prayers and blessings. Henry was very excited because he knew he was getting training as an altar server the very next day.

Then the priests walked through the house blessing each room with holy water. They did the upstairs and the downstairs and ended in the family room, where we were informed that "a little birdie" had told them our anniversary was coming up. So in addition to having our home blessed, Ken and I had our marriage and family blessed as well. I was crying very happy tears at that point. And then I was soaking wet because Fr. Joe and Henry were vigorously blessing each other with the rest of the holy water.

All in all it was a wonderful evening. I'm so glad I finally stepped up and made the plans. I'm glad my kids got to see their priests and deacon as "real people" who swing in swings, play soccer, and tell jokes. And I'm glad that Deacon Nick remembered dessert so I could send them home with some. Otherwise I would have had to eat that whole peach cobbler by myself!!

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