Bulgaria

Blessing of the Houses in Sekirovo

On the first day of the year, the parish of St. Michael in Sekirovo announced its statistics of the passing year. In 2015, there were at least 57 baptisms, 21 weddings and 113 funerals. It was also announced that the annual house blessing will begin the following week. The two Priests and we, Sisters in Sekirovo had to go from houseto-house for the annual blessing of the houses and those who dwell there-in; each one had to go with an Altar server every evening for the blessing and this took us three good weeks.

The blessing of the houses and families is a fitting faith event to start the New Year right with blessing from above. House blessing has now become a traditional activity for each year Sekirovo, which starts usually on 06 January. In the past, when the village was still smaller and had few houses, house blessing was done in a single day. The Priest and the congregation had to gather at the front of the church and together they would go from house to house. Nowadays, the village had grown bigger and it has become impossible for the blessing to be done in one day or in a week.

It is an activity the villagers look forward to each year; people usually wait outside their houses for the priest or the sister who will bless their house and take him or her in the house. The whole family gathers in the living room and participates actively in the blessing ritual. Some parents who have their children abroad would sign in on Skype so that their son or daughter abroad would also receive the same family blessing.

It is not just the blessing per se that touches us, but more so the getting to know our parishioners and their concerns. It is a faith encounter to pray with the people in their houses and to hear their stories. For some, loneliness is the most concern as several of them live alone in big houses. House Blessing is indeed an event to look forward to each year, not only for the people, and also for us, missionaries