Every year, Fr. John gets asks what is needed when he arrives. In the strictest sense,
nothing is needed, but it is traditional to set up the following on a table in a prominent
room in one’s home, as a way of preparing an altar of sorts:

  • A white cloth, laid out on a table around which the household will gather.
    Traditionally, this is a special white cloth, only used to set aside a space for the priest
    to offer services in one’s home, elevating and sanctifying the otherwise mundane
    table as a place offered in purity to God. Some families have embroidered cloths, but
    others simply use a clean white cloth which is kept for just such occasions. This cloth
    would be put out if the priest brings Holy Communion or other services as well.
  • An icon or icons to place on the table, usually of Christ, the Theotokos, and/or an
    icon of the Baptism of Christ for the Feast of Theophany.
  • A bowl for holy water which can be carried around the house. Traditionally, this is
    a special bowl only used for holy water, and kept as a special item by the family for
    the purpose of holy water alone, but any clean bowl will do in a pinch.
    Note: Any leftover holy water should not be poured down the drain, but should
    be drunk by the family or poured out to give life to a house plant or a plant outside
    the home.
  • Holy Water which has been brought home from church. If you forget, Fr. John
    always travels with a bottle.
  • A candle and candlestick; the head of the house will lead Fr. John and those present
    around the home, so make sure it has something to catch the wax from getting on
    your floors. If you don’t have one, it’s not the end of the world, but it helps to remind
    us that Christ is the Light which illumines our homes.
  • A list of names of all the living and departed members of the household/family, so
    that Fr. John can pray for your loved ones.
  • Turn on the lights and open the doors to the rooms you’d like blessed before Fr. John
    arrives; close toilet lids if you plan on having Fr. John bless your bathrooms.

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