I was a new homeowner in May 1994 when good friend and then-rector of All Saints' Atlanta, Harry Pritchett, celebrated a house-blessing (technically - er, liturgically - called "Celebration for a Home") for Kate and me at our little house on Strathmore. It was a joyous event, with lots of family and friends following Harry through the various rooms of the house for the blessing and prayers.
The very last thing I did when I left the house for good in December was to remove the silver cross that Harry had nailed over the door all those years ago.
Tonight, in a very different place and under very different circumstances, Harry blessed my tiny Spanish Harlem apartment.
He blessed the entrance ("welcome her upon her return"), the "library" (ha! 3 bookcases taking up one corner of the room - "Teach us, O Lord, where wisdom is to be found"), the bedroom ("Guide us waking and guard us sleeping"), the bathroom (yes, the bathroom: "Give us proper respect and reverence for our bodies"), the kitchen ("Bless the hands that work in this place"), and the living room ("How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity"). Four of those "rooms" are really within one room; we deemed the place well-blessed.
And after each room had been blessed, he took the cross that I'd brought from Atlanta and nailed it over the doorway.
Then we went to a great little bistro across from St. John the Divine (Harry was Dean of the Cathedral a few years back) and continued the celebration with good food and lovely wine.