Categories: Culture

Now We’re The ‘Blessed’ Armenian Kitchen

The ‘Blessed’ Armenian Kitchen

We’ve always thought of our
kitchen that way, but now it’s official.

We were joined recently by a
small group of family and friends as our home was blessed by our Der Hayr, the Rev. Father Paren Galstyan
of St. David Armenian Church in Boca Raton, Florida.

Father Paren Galstyan
The house isn’t new to us but
Father Paren is. Originally from Armenia, he recently moved to South Florida from
Illinois. He is young, energetic, earnest and has a keen sense of humor that he’s
eager to share.

He’s even more eager to share
his faith and knowledge, which he demonstrated by doing something I’d never
experienced through countless home blessings since childhood: He offered to conduct
the entire ceremony in English.

I eagerly accepted the offer. He then conducted a
question-and-answer session on the meaning of the traditional Armenian house
blessing and stressed the significance of each of the three dishes arrayed
before him: bread representing the body of Christ, and to sustain life; salt to preserve; and water to cleanse.

Of course he was much more eloquent
and offered both practical and spiritual meanings behind each symbol. Then he
sprinkled the blessed water in each corner of the house.

He cautioned us not to
discard anything in the now blessed dishes, so we made good use of the water by
making a pot of coffee that we all shared. The bread served quite well in a
sandwich a bit later that evening.

Father Paren said the church
allows such blessings twice a year if the occupants feel it’s
necessary. I think he did such a fine job that we’ll be safe from unholy
intrusions at least until the blessed salt runs out.

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