One of the most sacred traditions of the Armenian Church is the Home Blessing. This religious service brings together the entire family in oneness and holiness. During this ceremony bread, water and salt are used as symbols of God’s infinite goodness and care.
With the blessing of these great gifts the household is enriched spiritually and its existence perpetuated for the service of his Creator.
The priest blesses the bread, the water and the salt, which are the three fundamental elements and essential life-giving gifts for human life. The priest asks from the Omnipotent God not to lessen these three gifts, without which life becomes impossible or imperfect. The bread represents the Word of God. It grants life to all those who taste it.
The salt seasons our food and makes it delicious and edible. The salt represents man in this world with his words and deeds. Christ said, “You are the salt of the earth.” Man’s life should be seasoned with wisdom, moderation or sense of sufficiency.
Water is the most essential element of life and represents cleanliness. It’s through water that we are cleansed by baptism, renewed in Christ and united with Him.
Along with the bread, the salt and the water offered on a tray by the dwellers, the priest places a wafer stamped with the crucifix and designs of grapes and wheat. The wafer is the presence of Christ in the home. The members of the family can either distribute the wafer among themselves or keep it in a jar along with flour, salt or rice.
During the Home Blessing it is customary for the priest to burn incense, which symbolizes the burning of our souls with our Lord’s love. In his supplication the Psalmist says, “Let my prayer be counted as incense before Thee.”
The priest blesses the home and all its dwellers, asking God to keep them away from enemies both visible and invisible, and protect them under His powerful Right Hand granting them health of body and soul. Through this ceremony their faith is replenished and strengthened in the Lord. Please contact our church office at 301-229-8742 to schedule you home visitation with Reverend Father Sarkis Aktavoukian.