In our tradition, we call individuals up for various occasional blessings during the Holy Communion service. In our parish, it happens during the period between the recitation of the Nicene Creed and the sermon – right after I announce the special intentions for that day’s service.
As an ordained priest, I offer a blessing as a “sacramental” that prepares the person to receive God’s grace for an appointed purpose. These blessings encourage and aid in our devotions to God.
Today, I offered the birthday blessing from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer (modified for “her”) found on page 597.
WATCH over thy child, O Lord, as her days increase; bless and guide her wherever she may be, keeping her unspotted from the world. Strengthen her when she stands; comfort her when discouraged or sorrowful; raise her up if she fall; and in her heart may thy peace which passeth understanding abide all the days of her life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Last week, I offered a prayer for a student heading off to college based on the Parents prayer found in the St. Ambrose Prayerbook.
O HEAVENLY Father, I commend the soul of your child, Olivia, to Thee. Be Thou her God and Father. Strengthen her to overcome the corruptions of the world, to resist all the solicitation to evil, whether from within or without; and deliver her from the secret snares of the enemy. Pour Thy grace into her heart, and confirm and multiply in her the gifts of Thy Holy Spirit, that they may daily grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ; and so faithfully serving Thee here, may come to rejoice in thy presence hereafter. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
The week before I offered a nuptial blessing on the wedding anniversary of the Burdicks. This blessing is borrowed from the Holy Matrimony rite (pg 303) in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.
O GOD, who hast so consecrated the state of Matri- mony that in it is represented the spiritual marriage and unity betwixt Christ and his Church; Look mercifully upon these thy servants, that they may love, honour, and cherish each other, and so live together in faithfulness and patience, in wisdom and true godliness, that their home may be a haven of blessing and of peace; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.