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Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin
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Bishop’s Note – The Blessing

This week, in our examination of the 2019 BCP service of Holy Eucharist - Standard Text - we come to the blessing at the end of the service.

At this point, the congregation has just concluded the Post Communion Prayer asking God to send us out to “do the work you have given us to do.” In order to do that we require God the Holy Spirit to propel us forward, often out of our “comfort zones,” and into the world. Therefore, we require God’s blessing which the Bishop or Priest pronounces upon the congregation:

The Blessing

The Bishop when present, or the Priest, gives this or an alternative blessing

The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen.

Note that the blessing comes in two parts - the desired outcome and the pronouncement of the blessing in the name of the Trinity. In this case, the desired outcome is a fulfillment of St. Paul’s exhortation to the church in Philippi when he states: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)

The blessing, in the context of Philippians 4 makes perfect sense. We have asked God to send us forth - in doing so, we should always rejoice and be thankful to God for his Grace, which is always sufficient to the moment. We ask him to allow our reasonableness to shine - meaning that we do no insist on our own way. We demonstrate a calm confidence in our faith in Christ as we make our requests known to God. In that process, we receive the fruit of the Spirit - peace. This is not a peace that is simply the absence of violence; this is the true “Shalom” that comes from God. This is the peace that rests upon the knowledge that we are never alone, forsaken or abandoned by God. We simply know that we know that we know that HE is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and in Him we receive the peace that allows us to go into the storms of life in perfect confidence.

This Sunday as you are preparing to go forth into the world remember that you do so with the Blessing of God Almighty. No matter what it is you have to face you need not do it alone, because God is at your side!

Bishop Menees

May 26
Bishop @ Christ Church Lemoore

May 27
Memorial Day
(Diocesan Office closed)

May 30
Feast of the Ascension

May 31
Feast of the Visitation

June 2
Bishop @ Saint Columba

June 9
Bishop @ Trinity

June 14-16
College of Bishops Meeting

June 16
Trinity Sunday

June 17-19
Provincial Assembly

June 23
Bishop @ St. Timothy and Trinity Memorial

June 30
Bishop @ Clement of Alexandria

July 4
Independence Day
(Diocesan Office closed)
San Joaquin Anglican
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