Blessing Rites for Christian Lives

CSJ Shawn Madigan
A blessing affirms God's embrace of human life and all life. A blessing mediates the gracious communion of God and humans in the depth of human experience. In Christ, all creation is blessed to become a new creation. The Spirit of Christ blesses faithful people who live on in Christ's love. The Spirit is an ever-present blessing who teaches the community "everything" (John 14:26). Words and rites of blessing clarify and celebrate the blessedness praying people sense in their lives. A rite of blessing reminds us that the heart of God already surrounds and embraces the many seasons of the human heart. This book contains blessing rites for the Church and calendar year, for significant moments of joy and sorrow, for daily life shared around a table, for transitions that call for an anchor of hope, for periods of suffering, for times of delight in mysteries of new life and of human love. This book does not intend to replace more formal sacramental rites of the Christian Church. Rather it serves as a companion to these formal rites, extending them into the many ordinary times in ordinary lives that call out for remembering God is with and among us. People will experience and interpret in different ways the specific events and occasions in human life that the rites in this volume bless, Human experiences cry out for meaning and purpose and call us to deepening our faith and celebrating the presence of the Holy in the midst of all life. The rites may require adaptation to suit the prayer style or composition of various Christian communities. Those responsible for planning can make these adaptations for the prayer of the people. The Spirit who is forming the communities of prayer and blessing will guide the adaptations praying people make. These blessing rites are intended for small groups, but individuals may find them suitable for private as well.

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