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 Liturgy of Dedication and Protection 

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Prayer for Dedication and Protection

Thomas J. Marble

Healer, Celtic Christian Church

 

Recently I was the guest of an old friend and his wife. They asked me if I would bless their home. Since I am not a priest, I was not sure what I could do for them. We sat around and talked about this for a little while. We determined that what they wanted was to place their home under God’s protection. More specifically, they wanted protection from entities of evil. I could certainly pray with them for this! I explained that, as a Healer in the Celtic Christian Church, my prayer would be Christian in intent and that I would be praying in the Name of Jesus. I also said that I would want to claim their home for the Kingdom of Heaven and bind their home against demonic or evil influences. It was important for me to obtain what physicians call “informed consent” from them as the house owners.

As we talked about it I learned that my friends have a deep appreciation for ritual. For them there is nothing “magic” about ritual and symbolism, but they believe these things have a purpose in their spiritual life. One the spot, so to speak, we agreed on a simple ceremonial rite that is the basis for this guideline.

This is merely a guideline or a suggestion. God knows the intent of your heart and will lovingly hear and answer the briefest, silent prayer. Satan is a bit of a legalist, however. I have found it most helpful to be quite specific when posting a “no trespassing” sign against his minions. Nevertheless, please do feel free to use this guideline any way you want. Modify, adapt, take one part and discard another, or use it as a idea generator for your own prayer.

 We all have different circumstances and needs. It does not matter if you are a home owner (even if the bank technically owns it) or a renter. It does not matter if you live in a single family residence, an apartment, condo or motel room. This can easily be adapted for an office, or even if you are a teacher in a public school classroom. If you can call (name) any space a place for your use, you have the authority to determine to which kingdom that space belongs.

I have tried to imagine anything from a single Christian praying in her heart to a small gathering where a complete sacramental liturgy is celebrated. In this guideline I have included prayers and readings that follow the post Vatican II Ordinary of the Mass. I’ve learned that most priests and ministers have little problem adapting these to their own liturgical preference. All symbols, elements and sacramentals are optional. (When I dedicated my classroom I certainly did not bring symbols for Air, Earth, Water and Fire! I did, however, splash a little Holy Water around.)

If your needs, circumstances or aesthetics are simple and to the point, you can find the “core” of this prayer for dedication and protection immediately after the Homily.

 Needed: (Again, everything except a sincere heart and faith in the Name of Jesus is optional.) This list does not include the items required for a full liturgy. The first four items are symbols for the four classical elements. Ideally, these should be items from the house.

  • Stone, clay, or similar item for EARTH
  • Incense stick or cone for AIR (I can also imagine a balloon or even an empty container, but most people find incense to be the most traditional and aesthetically appealing.)
  • Candle, for FIRE
  • Glass, jar or bowl of WATER
  • Holy Water
  • Blessed Oil
  • Identify the primary door, or “official” entrance of the house.

 These items may be arranged on a small table near the altar, if there is to be a full liturgy. Otherwise they may be arranged in an attractive manner on a table near the center of the room.

 Liturgy of Dedication and Protection

 INTRODUCTORY RITES:

  • If no hymn has been selected the following suggestion for an Antiphon may be used.
  • Antiphon: Luke 9: 57 – 58
    • (Cantor) As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, "I will follow You wherever You go."
    • (People) And Jesus said to him, "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."

 

Opening Prayer Suggestion: “Heavenly Father, we thank you for bringing us to this time and this place so that we may worship you and claim this house for the Kingdom of Heaven. Let the Light of Your Love shine upon this house and fill every corner and crevice so that no darkness may abide here. We ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord. (Amen)

 First Reading: Genesis 28: 15 – 22

Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place-- and I did not know it!" And he was afraid, and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven." So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. He called that place Bethel; but the name of the city was Luz at the first. Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father's house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's house; and of all that you give me I will surely give one tenth to you."

 Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 23

 R. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want

V. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

 R. He makes me lie down in green pastures;

 he leads me beside still waters; He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake.

 V. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want

R. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me..

V. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want

R. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.

V. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

R. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

 

V. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Second Reading: Hebrews 3: 1 – 6

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house--whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.

Alleluia (Cf: Joshua 24: 15)

R. Alleluia alleluia alleluia

V. Alleluia alleluia alleluia

R. Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve; as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

V. Alleluia

 

Gospel: Matthew 7: 24 – 29

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. "And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. "Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. "The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell--and great was its fall." When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

Note on sequence for Homily, Prayer of Dedication and Protection, and Creed:

Special services and rites are traditionally placed immediately after the Homily. This is entirely appropriate for this liturgy. However, you and/or the celebrant may want to consider whether it is beneficial or meaningful to say the Creed before claiming the house for the Kingdom of Heaven and binding it against Evil. It may be that, having armored themselves through pronouncing the Creed, the householders, as well as the celebrant will be better prepared for these prayers and petitions. If the Creed is proclaimed after the dedication, the homilist might take care to note how this will be the first deliberate act taken by the occupants or residents of this house after it has been claimed for the Kingdom. This may be a smoother and more natural transition back to the “regular” liturgy. I would suggest that this be discussed beforehand.

 Homily: At the celebrant’s discretion, perhaps the homily may include an exhortation concerning what it will mean to live in and/or work in a holy place. 

 

Rite of Claiming the House for the Kingdom of Heaven

 R. Peace be unto this house!

V. And all who enter it!

 R. Let us pray.  (Suggested prayer may be modified as seen fit)

Jesus, you are Lord, and we thank you for this time and place. We place our childlike trust in you that, whenever your Name is invoked, and wherever two or more are gathered in your Name, you are with us. Let the light of your presence shine upon this house and upon all who are gathered. As children of the Most High we come before you to claim this house for the Kingdom of Heaven and to bind this house against all evil.

 Eternal Triune God, Three in One, One in Three, we humbly yet confidently pray that your will be done in this as in all things. We ask this through Christ, our Lord,

 V. Amen.

 R. (Taking the Holy Water, if available – specific wording may be adjusted to suit the specific circumstances)

In the Most Holy Name of Jesus, through the authority of my Office and with the expressed will and intent of the owners/holders of this house, + I claim this house and all that is within it, above it, and below it for the Kingdom of Heaven. (Holy Water is sprinkled in the direction of the four walls. Congregation makes the sign of the cross.)

 Rites of Protection and Binding

 Celebrant proceeds to the table where the symbols of the four elements have been placed. (The specific order of binding may not be important, except that addressing the gates of the Netherworld should always be last. The order presented here is considered traditional by many.)

 Earth

 (Celebrant either places his/her hands upon or picks up the object that has been selected to represent the element of Earth.)

 (Deut 32:18) “You were unmindful of the Rock who bore you. You forgot the God who gave you birth. Give us new life, O God, and make us fruitful in turn. Ground us in you, O God.”

 “In the Name of Jesus, at which every head must bow and every knee must bend, I bind the Earth of this house against every spirit or entity of evil. I bind the Earth from which this house is made, the Earth of every object within this house, brought within this house, or that enters this house, even the tiniest mote of dust. In the Name of Jesus I bind the Earth of this house, the Earth upon which this house rests, even unto the property line, the Earth below this house, even to the center of the earth, and all Earth that may pass above this house. Earth, thou art bound against all forms and un-forms of evil. Earth, thou art bound against all demonic entities and spirits of Earth. I bind this Earth against all entities that reside in, interact with, have interplay with, communication with or through, any games and any utilization of Earth, including those beyond our imagination. In the Name of Jesus I declare this Earth to be holy.” (Symbol of Earth is returned to the table if it has been lifted.)

 R. We declare this in the Name of Jesus.

V. Thy Will be done.

 Air

 (Celebrant lights the incense or picks up the object that has been selected to represent the element of Air.)

 (Ezekiel 37: 9 – 10) “God says this: Come from the four winds, come, O breath. Breathe upon these dead that they may live again! I prophesied as God had commanded, and the breath entered into them. They came to life again and stood up on their feet, a great, an immense crowd. God of the winds, breathe into us your love.” 

“In the Name of Jesus, at which every head must bow and every knee must bend, I bind the Air of this house against every spirit or entity of evil. I bind the Air incorporated in the structure and spaces of this house, the Air of every object within this house, brought within this house, or that enters this house. In the Name of Jesus I bind the Air of this house, even unto the property line, the Air below this house, even to the center of the earth, and all Air that may pass above this house, even unto the limits of the atmosphere. Air, thou art bound against all forms and un-forms of evil. Air, thou art bound against all demonic entities and spirits of Air. I bind this Air against all entities that reside in, interact with, have interplay with, communication with or through, any games and any utilization of Air, including those beyond our imagination. In the Name of Jesus I declare this Air to be holy.” (Symbol of Air is returned to the table.)

 R. We declare this in the Name of Jesus.

V. Thy Will be done.

 Fire

 (Celebrant lights the candle that has been selected to represent the element of Fire.)

(Exodus 13: 21 – 22) “God went before them, by day in the form of a pillar of cloud to show them the way, and by night in the form of a pillar of fire to give them light: thus they could travel by day and night. The pillar of cloud never failed to go before the people during the day, nor the pillar of fire during the night. God of fire, be in us as life-giving energy and passion.”

 “In the Name of Jesus, at which every head must bow and every knee must bend, I bind the Fire of this house against every spirit or entity of evil. I bind the Fire from which this house is made, the Fire of every object within this house, brought within this house, or that enters this house, even the tiniest spark or current of energy, including that which comes by wire or electromagnetic wave. In the Name of Jesus I bind the Fire of this house, the Fire upon which this house rests, even unto the property line, the Fire below this house, even to the center of the earth, and all Fire that may pass above this house. Fire, thou art bound against all forms and un-forms of evil. Fire, thou art bound against all demonic entities and spirits of Fire. I bind this Fire against all entities that reside in, interact with, have interplay with, communication with or through, any games and any utilization of Fire, including those beyond our imagination. In the Name of Jesus I declare this Fire to be holy.” (Symbol of Fire is returned to the table.)

 R. We declare this in the Name of Jesus.

V. Thy Will be done.

 Water

 (Celebrant either touches the water or picks up the object that contains the element of Water.)

(Isaiah 44: 3 – 4)

“For I will pour out water on the thirsty land,

streams on the dry ground.

I will pour my spirit on your descendants,

My blessing on your children.

They shall grow like grass where there is plenty of water,

Like poplars by flowing streams.”

“”O God, may your waters refresh and renew us.”

 “In the Name of Jesus, at which every head must bow and every knee must bend, I bind the Water of this house against every spirit or entity of evil. I bind the Water from which this house is made, the Water of every object within this house, brought within this house, or that enters this house, even the tiniest droplet or molecule. In the Name of Jesus I bind the Water of this house, the Water upon which this house rests, even unto the property line, the Water below this house, even to the center of the earth, and all Water that may pass above this house. Water, thou art bound against all forms and un-forms of evil. Water, thou art bound against all demonic entities and spirits of Water. I bind this Water against all entities that reside in, interact with, have interplay with, communication with or through, any games and any utilization of Water, including those beyond our imagination. In the Name of Jesus I declare this Water to be holy.” (Symbol of Water is returned to the table.)

 R. We declare this in the Name of Jesus.

V. Thy Will be done.

 

The Netherworld

 (Celebrant takes the blessed oil and proceeds to the primary door of the house. Here, the door represents ALL portals and entryways, seen and unseen, into the house.)

 Almighty and Eternal Father, we have claimed this house for the Kingdom of Heaven and, in the Most Holy Name of Your Son Jesus, and have bound in His Name the very elements of this house from all forms of evil. You have declared that even the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church. Father, in the Name of Jesus and through the power of the Holy Spirit, I bind even the gates of the Netherworld, past, present and future, in all dimensions, that have or may potentially open in, under or above this house and property. I seal the gates of the Netherworld with the Blood of Jesus and in the name of Jesus I bind all communication, influence, interaction, interplay, games or any congress beyond human imagination.

 

Celebrant takes the oil and marks a cross on the outer lintel.

 Let the sign of the Love of Our Lord be an eternal beacon to all who might seek entry. Let it be known above and below that this house is a holy house and belongs to the Kingdom of Heaven. Let no evil being trespass the Seal of the Blood of the Lamb.

 R. We declare this in the Name of Jesus.

V. Thy will be done.

 R. Peace be upon this house!

V. And all who enter it.

 The liturgy continues as customary.

 Prayer After Communion

Let us pray. Father in Heaven, through the Holy Spirit you moved the apostle to instruct us to "Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." Look with favor on this gathering and on all of our prayers and petitions. We ask that you grant these through Jesus Christ, our Lord,

V. Amen.

 

Acknowledgments:

Scripture citations are from the New American Standard Bible and the New Revised Standard Version.

Some of the prayers are from Kathleen Fischer, Women At The Well, Paulist Press, 1988 and adapted from Marlene Halpin, Imagine That! Using Phantasy in Spiritual Direction, Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown Company, 1982.

I would also like to thank Judy Kahler for her suggestions and encouragement and Cait Finnegan, whose enthusiastic support is between the lines throughout this work.

 

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Last modified: 04/12/14.