A blessing is a pronouncement by priests or bishops of God’s favor on either a person or object. A blessing of dismissal is specifically prescribed in Eucharistic Rite I, but only allowed in Rite II, the service for the Consecration of a Church, and ordination services. Our Book of Common Prayer contains specific blessings for the marriage rite and at the beginning of the service for Reconciliation of a Penitent. The Book of Common Prayer also lists specific blessings for water, oil, wedding rings, altars, and the new fire at the Great Vigil of Easter. Our Book of Occasional Services lists Seasonal Blessings, as well as blessings for pregnant women, homes, and church furnishings. The celebrant may bless the Deacon who then proclaims the Gospel. A “blessing” is often the mechanism through which something or someone is “consecrated” (dedicated for holy use). In the Eucharist, the bread and wine are blessed during the Prayer of Consecration whereby they become in some form the body and blood of Christ. A new church and its altar are blessed by the Bishop so that they may be consecrated. In ordinations, the “Consecration” involves the bishop laying on hands and saying a specific prayer invoking a blessing.
~Dr. Gil Haas
In the third portion of the Nicene Creed, the Holy Spirit is said to “proceed” from the Father and the Son (the phrase, “and the Son”, or filioque, in Latin, was not a part of the original Nicene Creed but was added by Pope Leo III without assembling another Council to ratify his decision. Inclusion of the filioque phrase in the Creed was one reason for the Great Schism which wrenched Eastern and Western churches apart. The Episcopal Church has voted in its Convention to drop “and the Son” when the next Book of Common Prayer is published.). Jesus is eternally begotten (“be the father of” ) by the Father, while the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds (“out of”) from the Father. God the Father is the ultimate source of the Son and the Spirit, though the three coexist eternally. However, the Western Church has additionally understood “procession” to mean that the Divine Spirit’s Essence proceeds from the Father through the Son to the Holy Spirit and avoiding the Son was heresy. The Eastern Church believed that to have the Spirit come from both the Father and the Son heretically made the Spirit a subordinate member of the Trinity.
~Written by Dr. Gil Haas
Various Clergy and members of St. Augustine contribute to authoring the blog on a variety of topics.