This ritual of blessing was first used in a Sunday morning worship service at Spring Glen Church in Hamden, Connecticut during the time of Pastoral Prayer.
This morning I want to invite you all to help me in lifting up these joys and concerns. As we close this time of prayer, we will do a small ritual to bless one another.
As we begin, join me in placing your hands over your heart. Feel its precious beating. We thank God for the gift of life. Each gift of life is filled with countless blessings and challenges. As we feel the beat of our physical hearts, consider the stirring of your spiritual heart, and let compassion and wisdom radiate into your receiving hands. We ask God to attune our hearts to God’s still speaking voice.
Keep your hands over your heart and hear these words of blessing:
“Hands, when in service to the human spirit, have the power to bless.
With touch that heals
Touch that comforts
Hands, when pledged in covenant to serve to our neighbor, have power to transform
Through service that strengthens
Service that liberates.“*
I invite you now to extend your hands out in front of you, palms facing down, over those around you.
Let us send out this healing spirit inside each of us to be a blessing to this gathered community. So that we might lend a hand to those in need. Offer a comforting hug. Or simply presence. As our hands are extended in blessing, we also remember that we should not overextend ourselves.
I invite you now to turn your hands over, maybe rest them on your lap, with your palms facing up, in a posture of receiving. We have sent our blessing out over this gathered community and beyond. But let us also receive. We sit for a moment of silent prayer to be nourished by the prayers, the joys and concerns. Let us be restored by God’s overflowing love, present here today. Amen.
*This liturgy was inspired by a Laying on of Hands written by Keith Goheen found online here.