Consecrations, Blessings and Prayers
CONSECRATIONS, BLESSINGS AND PRAYERS
A pastoral companion to the ritual and to the book of blessings
Sean FinneganPrayers and blessings for every occasion
Subtitled ‘a pastoral companion to the ritual and to the book of blessings’, this is a compilation of texts designed primarily, but not exclusively, for a Catholic audience. While the Catholic tradition is certainly dominant, there is an interesting wealth of material here which should prove useful to Christians of other traditions. There is a general emphasis on formality, especially in the consecrations and blessings, for circumstances which range from the grandiose (blessing a warship) to the bizarre (blessing a compost heap). To be fair, the rubric indicates that the latter example need not be taken entirely seriously, but its inclusion illustrates the author’s intention that every aspect of our lives, however mundane, may be dedicated to God. The bulk of the compilation can be taken seriously, and used for those circumstances which are significant, or life-changing: moving to a new house, getting engaged, expecting a child, anniversaries, bereavements and mental illness. While some of the texts seem traditional and even archaic (‘churching’ of parents after a birth), others are firmly in the modern age, including two cautionary prayers to be deployed before using the internet. As the introduction states, ‘whatever one’s attitude towards blessings and consecrations, most will agree that the selections of scripture texts are useful and apposite to the business of leading one’s life under God’s guidance’. Bishops may find it particularly useful, but many Anglican ministry teams will also find it helpful to have a copy of this book within the vestry, both for reference and regular use.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Hogg
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