20 March 2014

Anglican Patrimony: The Blessing of the Light

The following was a ceremony employed as part of a form for the blessing of a home.  In several dioceses it was used separately as part of an alternate form for worship in the evening hours with the word 'enter' changed to 'gather' in the collect. 

Priests have used this form at the start of many different occasions from bible studies to prayer meetings to sessions of the vestry or parish council.

A Candle shall be brought to the Priest, who shall light it and bless it as follows.

    Hear the words of the Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew.
    Glory be to thee, O Lord.

 YE are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your lights so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
    Praise be to thee, O Christ.

        There is sprung up a light for the righteous;
        And joyful gladness for such as are true-hearted.
        The Lord be with you;
        And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.
O GOD, whose glory shines as the light in the face of Jesus Christ; Bless, we beseech thee, this candle for the illumination of this place, and grant that as it giveth light unto all that are in the house
, so those who enter [gather] here may show forth in their lives the brightness of good works; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Book of Offices
The Episcopal Church USA