Liturgy for the blessing of a house — Zambia

This liturgy might be used for the blessing of a new home being lived in for the first time, or an older home into which a family has recently moved.  It easily involves the whole family, all ages.

Materials needed

  • Hymnbooks or printed songsheets
  • oil for blessing  (In Zambia special ‘blessed’ oil is available from the Synod office in Lusaka and also at some Presbytery offices.)
  • Paper towels or cloth for cleaning up any spilt oil

Statement of Purpose

We are gathered here today in order to dedicate the home of Mr and Mrs Phiri and family. (a fictitious family)

Bible Reading      Revelations 3:20

‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock. Whoever hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with them and they with me.’

Singing   Mfisa mwe Mfumu / Hide me, O my Saviour  (176 UCZ Bemba/English hymnbooks) -from Psalm 17:8

Note: The hymns in the ‘Inyimbo sha bwina Kristu’ (the Bemba Hymnbook originally published in 1975 by the United Church of Zambia) and its English counterpart (published in 2018) helpfully match number-for-number.

With anointing oil

Note: Initially I have included two versions of this section, as Worship Words has agreed to include the original text. I think it makes for an interesting and informative comparison. If you use this material and create yet a third version, please submit it so it can be added.

(adapted using inclusive language)
Holy One, I stand here as your servant whom you have sent to this house that you may be proclaimed in your power and peace. God of Glory, take your place as the head of this household. You have said in your Word that you stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears your voice. We have heard your voice. Come in, Beloved One, and govern in this house. I dedicate this house to you that you may be its protector. I therefore declare this house blessed. Amen.

(original text)
I stand here as your servant whom you have sent to this house that you, Oh Lord, may be proclaimed in your power and peace. King of Glory, take your place in this house as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. You have said in your Word that you stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears your voice. We have heard your voice. Come in, Oh Lord, and be the King in this house. I dedicate this house to you that you may be its Lord and protector. I therefore declare this house blessed. Amen.

Sprinkling of the anointing oil

I declare the peace of God in this house.

Blessing

May the blessing of God abide in this house in the name of God the Father/Creator, Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Closing Hymn

Kamupalamine / Nearer my God to Thee   (234 UCZ Bemba/English hymnbooks)

Authors

This liturgy has been written cooperatively by a group of students in the Bachelor of Theology programme at the United Church of Zambia University, Mindolo.
Student group members: Kamanga Juliet F, Mwape Precious, Chisompola Kennedy, Silomba Baron, Hamapande Newman, Kubrai Hillary Sakala