Increasingly Diverse Religious Practices Affirm Spiritual Importance Of New Home

March 14, 2009

Author: Dayna Harpster

Source: News-Press

If you say grace for your food, why not blessings for your home?

Increasingly, people of varying faiths are embracing an old spiritual tradition and inventing versions of their own.

For centuries, Catholic blessings have ranged from the simple practice of placing crosses in doorways to a prayer procedure most recently approved by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1988. Christian blessings welcome Habitat for Humanity families into their new homes all over the country, including Southwest Florida.

But the American spiritual landscape has shifted, and that is hitting home as well.

Harvard professor of comparative religion Diana Eck alleged in 2001 that the United States has become the world's most religiously diverse nation. Her groundbreaking work, "A New Religious America," drew from the Pluralism Project at Harvard, which has analyzed American religious trends since 1965.

Locally, spiritually eclectic house blessings are given by a real estate agent with a Native American background, among other practitioners. Most do not charge for the service, but may ask for a donation to defray travel costs.