I’m a little late with this, but here’s a link to a local news story that ran in the San Antonio Express News this past Saturday. Thank you Elaine Ayo and John Davenport at the Express News for a really nice article that concisely presented the spirituality and deep significance of Theophany and blessings to the non-Orthodox world. San Antonio is really fortunate to have a local newspaper that covers religion news so well.
A couple of parishioners quietly mentioned to me they thought an article on the blessing of cars might look a little weird to anyone outside the Orthodox faith who hasn’t experienced this before. Well, it certainly isn’t as majestic, awe-inspiring and mystical as Pascha or the Nativity, but it really grows on you. This is a good example of Orthodoxy entering into even the most mundane areas of life. As Americans we tend to like our religiosity confined to Sunday morning between 10 am and noon. And we certainly aren’t comfortable with religious expression and “rites” that aren’t confined to the four walls of a church (just bow your head and make the sign of the Cross in a crowded restaurant and see how many people give you “that look” – not an entirely hostile look, just the one reserved for religious zealots).
But as our priest, Fr. Leo Poore, pointed out in the article (he’s in the photo above)
There’s nothing that we know of that cannot be renewed, cannot be blessed. It affirms the fact that things are renewed through Christ and we are all called on to be as Adam and Eve before the fall.
I personally love the season of Theophany, house blessings and car blessings. It’s such a personal experience to have your priest bring the services of the Church right into your own home. It reminds me that Orthodoxy is a total life experience in a way that I just can’t get from my own personal piety and practices (not the Church’s fault, just my own lack of faith and poor prayer life).
So why not bless our cars? We spend hours a week driving around in them – so much of our life is spent in cars these days. For all intents and purposes you can complete an entire life cycle in a car. Babies are conceived in them, born in them. We eat, sleep and work in our cars. You can propose in one and get married in a drive-thru line. And God knows enough of us die in them. How weird can blessing the darned things be?