By Anne Marie Amacher
Parishes can offer a Blessing of Families and Homes as part of a Year of Faith activity in the Diocese of Davenport.
Deacon David Montgomery, the diocese’s director of communication and of the diaconate, said the idea for the blessing was introduced during a regional meeting of diaconate directors. Iowa is part of Region 9, which also includes dioceses in Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. Diaconate directors discussed having deacons offer to bless families and homes sometime during the Year of Faith, which continues through Nov. 24, 2013.
After hearing details about the blessing proposal, Bishop Martin Amos, chancery directors, Diocesan Liturgy Commission, Deacon Council and Presbyteral Council gave their approval, Deacon Montgomery noted.
It is up to each parish to determine the process for celebrating the rite, which is taken from the Book of Blessings’ Order for the Annual Blessing of Families in Their Own Homes.
Deacons are willing to assist parishes without assigned deacons, Deacon Montgomery said. Both deacons and priests can bestow the blessing. The rite includes an introductory rite, Liturgy of the Word, intercessions, prayer of blessing and concluding rite. Blessings will take place in the home’s entrance and elsewhere in the house as requested.
According to the Order for the Annual Blessing of Families in Their Own Homes, the rite cannot be used unless residents are present. Adaptations can be made. Although the rite is typically celebrated in individual homes, for pastoral reasons it may be celebrated for several families gathered in one convenient location with the text being adapted.
If you would like to have your family and home blessed, please contact your parish’s deacon or the pastor if your parish does not have a deacon.