Seasonal Blessings

Image result for hand blessing

Advent

Christ the Sun of Righteousness shine upon you and scatter the darkness from before your path; and the blessing of almighty God, the Father, the + Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always.

Christmas

Christ, who by his incarnation gathered into one all things earthly and heavenly, fill you with his joy and peace; and the blessing …

or

Christ the Son of God, born of Mary, fill you with his grace to trust his promises and obey his will; and the blessing …

Epiphany

Christ the Son of God gladden your hearts with the good news of his kingdom; and the blessing …

Ash Wednesday to Lent 4

Christ give you grace to grow in holiness, to deny yourselves, take up your cross, and follow him; and the blessing …

Lent 5 and Holy Week

Christ crucified draw you to himself, to find in him a sure ground for faith, a firm support for hope, and the assurance of sins forgiven; and the blessing …

Easter

The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the eternal covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight; and the blessing …

or

The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, make you perfect in every good work to do his will; and the blessing …

or

God the Father, by whose glory Christ was raised from the dead, strengthen you to walk with him in his risen life; and the blessing …

or

God, who through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us the victory, give you joy and peace in his faith; and the blessing …

Ascension

Christ our king make you faithful and strong to do his will, that you may reign with him in glory; and the blessing …

Pentecost

The Spirit of truth lead you into all truth, give you grace to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and to proclaim the word and works of God; and the blessing …

Trinity Sunday

God the Holy Trinity make you strong in faith and love, defend you on every side, and guide you in truth and peace; and the blessing …

Saints’ Days

God give you grace to follow his saints in faith and hope and love; and the blessing …

or

God give you grace to follow his saints in faith and truth and gentleness; and the blessing …

or

God give you grace to share the inheritance of his saints in glory; and the blessing …

Unity

Christ the Good Shepherd, who laid down his life for the sheep, draw you and all who hear his voice to be one within the fold; and the blessing …

General

The God of grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, establish, strengthen and settle you in the faith; and the blessing …

or

God, who from the death of sin raised you to new life in Christ, keep you from falling and set you in the presence of his glory; and the blessing …

or

Christ who has nourished us with himself the living bread, make you one in praise and love, and raise you up at the last day; and the blessing …

or

The God of peace fill you with all joy and hope in believing; and the blessing …

 

Source: Various sources. “…and the blessing of almighty God…” may have its origin in the Urbi et Orbi papal blessing.

Source of this version: Modified from the alternative Service Book 1980 (http://www.oremus.org/liturgy/asb/ea/blessing.html)

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On the Lord’s Day

O Lord Almighty,
you have created the world by Christ,
and have commanded us to remember the Sabbath,
to rest from our works,
and to meditate on your Word.
We[1] have also appointed festivals that bring joy to our souls,
to remember that Wisdom, your only Son,
who submitted to be born of a woman for us.
He appeared in life,
and showed himself in his baptism.
He appeared as both God and man.
He suffered for us according to your will,
and died,
and rose again by your power.
To remember and proclaim this,
we solemnly celebrate the feast of the resurrection on the Lord’s Day,
and rejoice in him who has conquered death,
and has brought life and immortality to light. Amen.

Source: Apostolic Constitutions

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

[1] Original: “Thou hast also appointed festivals”

Mozarabic Epiphany Prayer

Image result for epiphany starYou, O Lord,
are the Star of truth, who rises out of Jacob,
and the man who rises from Israel.
In the new Star you show yourself as God,
and lying in the crib as God and Man
we confess you to be the one Christ.
In your great mercy
grant us the grace of seeing you,
and show us the radiant sign of your light,
and put all the darkness of our sins to flight,
that we who languish with the desire of seeing you,
may be refreshed with the enjoyment of that blissful vision. Amen.

Source: Attributed to the Mozarabic Breviary

Source of this version: Freely modified from https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=963

Shine Your Bright Light into Our Hearts

wise-mens-giftsLord God,
you are the light of all the Gentiles,
and on this day
you revealed your only Son
to the Gentiles
by the leading of a star.
Grant that your people
may rejoice in your unending peace
and shine your bright light
into our hearts,
just as you blessed the Wise Men
and their children;
through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

Source:  Wilehelm Loehe, Agende für christliche Gemeinden des lutherischen Bekenntnisses, 1844

Original in German:

Herr Gott, Du Licht aller Heiden, der Du am heutigen Tage Deinen Eingebornen den Heiden durch Leitung des Sterns offenbart hast, verleihe Deinen Völkern, sich in beständigem Frieden zu freuen, und gieß auch in unsre Herzen das helle Licht aus, welches Du den Weisen und ihren Geschlechtern vergönnt hast, durch Jesum Christum, unsern Herrn. Amen.

Keep Us Safe, Lead Us Home

Dear God,
lead us with the Wise Men
by the star of your holy Word
to your Son, Christ Jesus,
and always protect us
from every attack.

Then we will return
to our home country
by another route,
that is, to God
by whom we are created,
and finally come to the source again,
as in a great golden ring.

God help us,
through Christ,
our King and Priest,
forever and ever.
Amen.

Source: Martin Luther, translated for A Collection of Prayers from  Gebetbuch, enthaltend die sämtlichen Gebete und Seufzer Martin Luther’s, ….Evangelischer Bücher-Verein, 1866, #575.

Original in German:

Lieber Gott, führe uns mit den Weisen durch den Stern deines heiligen Worts zu deinem Sohn Christo Jesu, und bewahre uns vor allem Anstoß in Ewigkeit, so kommen wir recht in unser Vaterland, da wir herkommen sind, das ist zu Gott, von dem wir geschaffen sind, und kommt das Ende mit dem Ursprung wieder zusammen, wie ein goldener Ring; das helf uns Gott durch Christum, unsern König und Priester in Ewigkeit. Amen.

Epiphany: Chalking the Door

CMB

On or before the Epiphany, January 6, family and friends gather at the main entrances to homes or apartments and ask God’s blessing on their dwellings and on all who live or visit there. 

Peace be to this house and to all who enter here.

A reading from Proverbs.
By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. (Proverbs 24:3-4)

Let us pray.
Gracious God, as a shining star once guided the magi to the birthplace of the infant Jesus, so enable those who dwell here to be your light in the world; through Jesus Christ we pray.
Amen. 

Using chalk, inscribe the horizontal frame above the door with the inscription shown below. The letters C M B come from the traditional (9th century) names for the “three kings”–Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. Some also suggest “Christus Mansionem Benedicat,” which means “May Christ bless this dwelling.” The numbers stand for the year 2018. 

Each person receives a turn to make one or more of the marks:

20 + C + M + B + 18

A reading from Isaiah.
And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust  forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. (Isaiah 32:17-18).

People may join hands or extend their hands outward and upward (orans) for the prayers.

Let us pray.
Sovereign God, we pray that you will bless this home and all who live here with your gracious presence, that your love may be our inspiration, your wisdom our guide, your truth our light, and your peace our benediction; through Jesus Christ we pray.
Amen.

Lord, remember your children and teach us to pray:
Our Father… 

People may make the sign of the cross in remembrance of their baptism.

The Lord will keep our going out and our coming in from this time forth and forevermore. (Psalm 121:8)
Amen.

Source: Modified from http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/2000/12/chalking-the-door.aspx#Qh3a4iy2HKPKIKkE.99

Scripture from the English Standard Version.

Enlighten Us

bartolomc3a9_esteban_murillo_-_adoration_of_the_magi_-_google_art_projectO Jesus Christ our King,
your sign to the Magi was a bright shining star.
Enlighten us by your grace,
and fill us with all wisdom
and spiritual understanding;
grant this because of your goodness,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
whose kingdom and dominion
endure through all ages.
Amen.

Source: Mozarabic Collect for Epiphany, freely modified from  Mozarabic Collects, ed. Rev. Chas. R. Halle, New York, 1881, p.18 #2

“your sign to the Magi was a bright shining star” is a reference to Matthew 2