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
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