When I was pastor of a small Mission, one of our members thought it would be a neat idea for the local TV station to come out and cover one of our house blessings.
And … the TV station agreed.
Being TV and all – great publicity for our growing Mission – it was decided that members of the choir and others of the community would join in this joyous event, singing the Theophany hymn …
You know, the one that goes like this … ***
Well, not exactly; more like this: ***
If you’re familiar with the House Blessing ritual, you know that there are prayers of Exorcism.
In fact, when not occupied with chanting, as the priest sprinkles the rooms of the house, he may say: “By the sprinkling of this Holy Water, may every evil action and demon be put to flight …”
Well … We did it. I was vested in riassa, epitrachelion, and phelonian (in other words: long black robe, decorative stole and sort of a liturgical cape); I’m saying the words: “By the sprinkling of this Holy Water, may every evil action and demon be put to flight …” and the choir and parishioners are chanting the Theophany hymn.
The TV camera man caught it all. He said that they would tease the story on the evening news and probably have it ready for broadcast during the 11:00 Nightly News.
We didn’t have cable TV … but various emails alerted me that, indeed, the TV station had plugged the upcoming House Blessing story at 6:00 and in the news teasers scattered throughout the evening shows.
Shortly before eleven o’clock that evening, there I was adjusting our rabbit ears in hopes of catching the story when, through the old-timey fuzzy snow picture, I caught the teaser just before the NEWS …
“Coming up at eleven, a local couple has an exorcism in hopes of having a happy home again.”
*** Tune in for more …
The Orthodixie Podcast on Ancient Faith Radio.