Author Topic: Asking for a blessing  (Read 2200 times)

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Offline EmptyBe

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Asking for a blessing
« on: May 16, 2010, 06:39:43 PM »
I have never asked for a blessing from a priest before, so I was wondering at what times is it appropriate to do so?

I know HOW just not WHEN.
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Offline searn77

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Re: Asking for a blessing
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2010, 10:53:25 PM »
I usually get one every time I greet the priest and every time I leave the priest's presence (whether that be when I leave after liturgy or after a meeting or something else).
Let us the faithful now come together to praise our father, protector and teacher the pillar of the Orthodox faith and firm defender of piety even the wondrous hierarch Philaret and let us glorify our Saviour Who has granted us his incorrupt relics as a manifest sign of his sanctity.

Offline EmptyBe

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Re: Asking for a blessing
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2010, 02:01:32 AM »
Thank you for the response.
ICXC NIKA,
Matthew

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Re: Asking for a blessing
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2010, 02:41:46 AM »
I don't often ask for a blessing, simply because most other people don't ask for a blessing, and I don't want to come off as being super-duper-ultra-pious-holier-than-you-could-ever-be :) But when I do ask, it's usually in a situation like when Fr. is leaving after a house blessing or something like that. If it's in Church, I figure I'm already kissing his hand and venerating the cross and whatnot, and he's probably busy.
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Asking for a blessing
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2010, 07:56:43 AM »
I know HOW just not WHEN.

What about internet forums? Maybe I'm just having a convertitis but I feel a little inappropriate when talking to priests without asking a blessing but on the other hand it's a little super-duper-ultra-pious-holier-than-thou'ish. Is there some kind of Orthodox netiquette?
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:34

Offline Thomas

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Re: Asking for a blessing
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2010, 09:34:05 AM »
When addressing a priest on the internet, I would use the same procedure as in writing a letter "Father Bless!" then proceed with your question or statement. It is important whether you are writing a letter, addressing  a clergyman on the internet , or in person to always remain civil and respectful of their calling as a priest/clergyman, even if you are not in agreement with their jurisdiction. As Orthodox Christians, we should also do so with each other whether we are priest, other clergy, or laity as we are all true icons of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thomas
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Offline FrChris

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Re: Asking for a blessing
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2010, 09:47:03 AM »
Sometimes we are asked for a blessing, and sometimes we are not. Please don't stress about it....we are praying for you whether you ask us or not!

More than once I could tell a person was agitated, and when I could get them to talk they will be very apologetic and state that they forgot to ask me for a blessing and it has been bothering them.

For everyone's benefit who is reading this, don't worry about such things, and just be joyful that you recalled to ask for a blessing now, and not let guilt take over!
"As the sparrow flees from a hawk, so the man seeking humility flees from an argument". St John Climacus

Offline scamandrius

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Re: Asking for a blessing
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2010, 11:59:09 AM »
I ask for blessings in the following circumstances:

1)  As I am a chanter, I always receive his blessing before beginning Vespers/Orthros or before any other Office/Liturgy.
2)  When I see him in his office, as I enter, I ask for one
3)  Whenever I write a letter to him, I always begin "Father, bless."
4)  If he is ever at my home, as he enters, I ask for one

Many people don't ask for blessings or don't know how to or when.  I know this one priest to whom I was recently introduced absolutely refused to let me kiss his hand and proceeded instead to embrace me.  I don't know why this was the case with him.  But it shows that  even some priests are not necessarily comfortable with being asked and  giving blessings.  At the same time, many people were put off once when, at the end of Liturgy and the veneration of the Cross, the priest (not the regular priest) told people to kiss his hand after kissing the cross.  If these same people think that they are somehow required to kiss the priest's hand, their reluctance to ask for blessing will only increase.
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Offline Tikhon.of.Colorado

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Re: Asking for a blessing
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2010, 01:36:32 PM »
this is what we in the OCA do. 

1) Cup your hands together, hold them toward the priest.

2) say "Father Bless".

3) he will bless you, and then you kiss his hand (which he should lift up to you) as a sign of respect, excepting the blessing.

it's that simple!

Offline Subdeacon Michael

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Re: Asking for a blessing
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2010, 04:11:24 AM »
Essentially, what others have said.  One asks a blessing upon meeting a priest and upon taking leave of his company.  Also, it seems proper to take a blessing before performing some liturgical function.  Readers do this before reading the Apostle, and deacons before the Gospel and litanies, so it seems in keeping with the spirit of this for those on the kliros to do the same, (although our brothers and sisters of the Old Rite are better at observing this than many of the rest of us).

On the question of how:
  • As you aproach the priest, bow and touch the ground as though making a reverence*, and ask for a blessing in whatever way is appropriate.
  • Cup your hands, right over left.**
  • He will bless you then proffer his hand to be kissed.

*This reverence is made without crossing oneself.  This is something that we see throughout Orthodox practice.  At an ordination, the candidate makes prostrations before the bishop but does not cross himself as he usually would before a prostration to the Holy Things, relics, or an icon.  Also, at the Church's services, we cross ourselves when we are blessed with the Holy Things, the blessing Cross, the Gospel Book, holy icons, and so forth, but we do not cross ourselves when the priest blesses with his hand.  We simply bow to humbly receive the blessing.  I think it is to draw a distinction between the honour given to mortal men and that given to holy things.

**I don't know why it's right-over-left. That is how we hold our arms as we approach the chalice at Communion, it is how a subdeacon wears his stole, it is how a bishop holds the trikiri and dikiri when he is blessing with them, and I'm sure there are other examples.  I'm sure the ground will not open up and swallow you if you do it left-over-right but right-over-left seems to be one of those basic things that are simply the way things are done.  There are a few things like that in Orthodoxy, as you'll come to learn in time.

Something else to bear in mind is that, if a bishop is present, one does not ask the blessing of a priest but rather should seek the bishop's blessing.  This has its grounding in a proper Orthodox ecclesiology but is also useful pastorally as it gives the people the opportunity to speak with their bishop, which is uncommon in some places.

In Christ,
Michael
« Last Edit: May 31, 2010, 04:13:14 AM by Subdeacon Michael »
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