Sunday, January 9, 2011

Blessing a building

Clergy are frequently to bless homes, condo's and townhouses. In December I had a first- blessing a building! Some friends invited me to bless their new business in downtown Honolulu. They opened a medical clinic and I was happy to oblige! We had a great time and I've included a photo so you can see my able assistants, Nema and Armon.
This got me to thinking about the idea of "blessing", a theme we addressed in a previous blog artice. What exactly do we mean when we say "blessing"? For some, "blessings" are things performed only by priests. For others, "blessings" are something which occur ocassionally, and are typically restricted to such events as meals, or church related events such as baptisms, weddings and the like. 

Celtic Christians share a larger notion of "blessing". For the Celts, all of life is a "blessing", and moreover, this "blessing" extends to the most mundane aspects of life. Nothing is left out. Such a perspective was previously discussed in my last article on the Carmina Gadelica, that great collection of prayers and blessings by Alexander Carmichael. There, as we noted, prayers, blessings, and thanksgivings take place at every moment and movement throughout one's day; while waking, walking, working, eating, resting, waiting, and even in death. By contrast, for the Celt, blessings are a regular occurance, something to be anticipated numerous times throughout the day. One last thing. We are meant to be a blessing for other people. St. Augustine once remarked we are "to be taken, blessed, broken, distributed that the work of the Incarnation may go forward". We don't often agree with that Bishop of Hippo, but here we give him the nod.

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