The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the rising use of witches, warlocks and faith based "house cleansing" ceremonies. I chuckled, at first, imagining a bedazzled 70 year old man chanting in a living room, shouting "out, out, damn spot!" while surrounded by the doe eyed new homeowner's, anxiously wringing their hands. But its mention of my Catholic faith's own tradition of home blessing required a quick bit of research to see how deep the supersition runs.
The Catholic tradition is summarized in this muli-part prayer, published by a Catholic church in Virginia. The magic works if you shuffle the group room-by-room and repeat the appropriate incantation that reflects the rooms intended use. The ceremony ends with the crucifix or other suitable icon being affixed in a prominent location.
I would love to know how many foreclosures that happy little ceremony has prevented.
Elsewhere, I've read that the Buddhist ceremony requires a whole fish, rock salt, and a bottle of sake. Sounds like lunch!
Of course, if you are a believer, there is another way to look at all this that is just as simplistic. Assume the purpose of the blessing and certain prayers is to prevent something aweful from happening-- and who can doubt that financial crisis that causes the loss of a home to foreclosure falls in that category. Then maybe the entire foreclosure process is not held in particular favor by God? Let's extend this to its absurd conclusion, and suggest further that the problems experienced by the foreclosure bar (robo-signing, bad affidavits, class actions) are the real estate world's versions of the locusts and the flood?
Or perhaps we shouldn't take any of it too seriously, but just deal with each other decently.