6 ways to offer Blessings that may surprise you.

It’s a personal and powerful act to offer a blessing to another being.  It’s a generous outpouring of energy, intended for the well-being of others.  Blessings are thoughtful acts of kindness and heart-felt sentiments, wishing to enrich a person’s life, even if it’s only expressed in a single moment.

Most of us are familiar with church blessings.  We may ask God to bless our family or our home, or we may thank God for “being blessed” with a happy and healthy life.

Being grateful or feeling blessed doesn’t have to be Religious. Blessings are equally meaningful when not affiliated with any religion.  Blessing a couple’s Marriage; saying Grace before supper;  thanking Mother Earth for a bountiful harvest; wishing someone a Happy Day; or giving a Toast are all forms of blessings.

 

Blessings are Well Wishes

Uniting together for a common cause or occasion, is a perfect time to offer a blessing.  A Wedding Ceremony is a great example.  Friends and family members gather from near and far to witness the union and to wish the couple good fortune as they embark on their new life journey.

According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, a blessing is “a thing conducive to happiness or welfare.”

Other occasions might include a community gathering; a Baby Dedication and Naming ceremony; going away party for a friend or co-worker; celebrations of life; and a myriad of other occasions that bring us together in fellowship and warmth.  In the case of a co-worker we may also want our blessing to give praise for a job well done or a creative invention that benefited the company.  Sometimes people sing, “For he’s a jolly good fellow” which, in itself, is a type of blessing and meant to be praise worthy.

Generally when blessings are presented, people quiet themselves and allow a single person to deliver it.

According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary “the act or words of a person who blesses.”

The point is that a blessing can come in many different forms, spoken by anyone who cares to take the lead, and can have a religious flavour, or not.  Blessings are intended to bestow favour upon a person, people or a gathering.  It’s important to remember that offering a blessing is an exchange of energy between you and another be it said formally or just a quick comment like “Have a great day”.

An Old Irish Blessing

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life’s passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!

 

Blessings intend to Give Thanks

 

Blessings lend themselves beautifully when giving thanks for our gifts in life. The benefits of practicing Gratitude are vast.

  • Daily discussion of gratitude results in higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness, energy, and sleep duration and quality. Grateful people also report lower levels of depression and stress, although they do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life.
  • Emerging research suggests that daily gratitude practices may have some preventative benefits in warding off coronary artery disease.  ~ Umassd.edu

Blessings of Thanks can be offered in the moment or done more formally.  When sitting down for a family meal, it’s often customary to say grace and give thanks for the food we eat.  At harvest festivals, we give thanks to Mother Earth for her bounty.

“Thanks to the earth for the soil.
Thanks to the sky for the rains.
Thanks to the farmers for the harvest.
Thanks to our friends for the love.”

From the time I was a child to this very day, my sister always says this grace at the supper table:

“For what we are about to receive, may the Lord make us truly thankful; and may we be ever mindful of the needs of others”.

For those who would prefer a non-religious table grace, something like this could be said:

“We are so grateful for this food; it restores our strength; it heals our bodies; it fuels our brains.”

 

Request for Permission

 

The most common example of requesting permission is when a suiter approaches the father of his beloved to ask permission for her hand in marriage, and for her father’s Blessing to marry.

For example:  “As you know, I love your daughter very much. She is the most beautiful, intelligent and loving woman a man could ever ask for. We’ve been together for almost three years now, and I can’t imagine spending my life with anyone else but her. I would like to ask her to marry me and I’m here today to ask you for your blessing.”

Seeking a family’s Blessing can also be asked when a young person wants to leave home to attend college or take a year off from school to travel around Europe.  Maybe a husband asks his wife for her blessing when he turns inward to seek a more personal or profound lifestyle change.

 

To Protect or Guard

Other types of Blessing you might be familiar with are for those who serve and protect.

“God Save the Queen” is one of our favourite songs to sign at mass Canadian gatherings.  HRH Queen Elizabeth II is our monarch. We send her Blessings so that she may reign fairly and soundly over her people.

It’s also popular to say Blessings for our Nation and national Leaders, our emergency services workers, armed forces and veterans, police officers and national security.

 

“May we as a nation be guided
to rediscover the sacred flame of our national heritage,
which so many have given their lives to safeguard;

May we learn to honor and enjoy our diversity
and differences as a people, even as we
more deeply touch our fundamental unity;”

We want to put our faith in those who we elected into high positions and we are asking that they have the wisdom, knowledge and clarity to govern fairly for the benefit of all.

 

A Toast or Cheers

A truly heartfelt way to offer a blessing is through a Toast.  Opportunities for Toasts come up often and are much anticipated.  They are often fun and full of well-wishes.  Performed by the CEO, the Bride’s father, the head of the household or the oldest Daughter, their intention is to draw on the emotions of the event and to share authentic happiness.

Toasts are short and full of sweet sentiment.  A glass is raised at the end and sometimes a hearty “hear-hear” resounds from the group to indicate their concurrence.

 

 

“May you be poor in misfortune,
rich in blessings,
slow to make enemies,
quick to make friends;
But rich or poor, quick or slow,
may you know nothing but happiness
from this day forward.”

 

In the Moment:

 

When someone sneezes we say “Bless you”.  We often say fond farewells that might include the Spanish word “Adios”, meaning “to God” or a French version with the same meaning; “Adieu”.  We may sign off on an email or a letter by saying “Be Well” or use the word “Blessings” and sign our names.

Wishing someone a Good or Happy Day is, in itself, a type of blessing that we pass along in the moment.  Our task is to find a way to be more purposeful about how we say our blessings and to share them with more focused thoughts.

 

 

A Heart-Felt Gift

Blessings don’t have to be complicated or written like a piece of prose.  The ones I enjoy the most are those just spoken from the heart.  It’s surprising the number of times in a day you can find to send the energy of a Blessing to another person.  Sharing Blessings is a privilege and a gift.  Do it often and always do it with joy.

 

 

Copyright By: Rev. Dr. Jayne A. Gibson                                                                                                                          All rights reserved