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Benedictions

At the end of each service, I say a benediction. It’s been that way for a while and I had tried to tie in the benediction with the sermon message. I had prefered to mix a sentence with an actual scriptural benediction verse. I ran into this article:

A few years ago it occurred to me that most (some exceptions, of course) benedictions (those worship-ending prayers) were meaningless—rather like an appendix. In most churches, they merely signal that the worship is over, perhaps like the bell ending a round of boxing. During benedictions, musicians turn the pages of their music for their final gig, ushers scurry to open the exit doors, and parishioners grab their coats.
Source: Leadership Journal

Do any of you use benedictions? What is your experience? Any good resources?

7 Comments

  1. we do what we call a blessing. Someone usually says something like “Stand up so I can bless you” … and the blessing often has the form of “May God do X to/through/for you and may you do Y because X” Generally related to what we have worked through that morning.
    It has been (I think) an important part of our gathering…

  2. OK, I almost hate to admit this.

    I was teaching at a conference last year and after I was done, I was hanging out in the back, talking with a few people while the last song was being played. When the song was done, the worship leader said, “And now, would Pastor Neal come give the benediction?” This threw me off because my name is Noel, not Neal. I assumed he was talking about someone else.

    Then, everyone turns and looks at me and I got hit with the second whammy…I totally forgot what a benediction was. I hadn’t heard the word in so long, that I stood there, wondering “what do I do?” I slowly walked to the front and muttered something about praying with me. Then I prayed and everyone seemed to accept it as appropriate, so I was good.

  3. Classic moment Noel. Thanks.

  4. Our service always ends with a benediction, usually scripture like II Thessalonians 3:16 “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you”.

    I kind of like it, it is comforting to leave with thoughts like that.

  5. We end every week with one. It provides another opportunity to work Scripture into service…God, in essence, is given the “final word”. We do it also because I take the idea of blessing the people seriously. We’re not dealing with God in the abstract, the worship service is not merely a religious reenactment; we’re coming before God expecting to hear from Him and the final word of that encounter is His blessing on His people.

  6. We try to end each service with a benediction in order to refocus our thoughts and time before we leave. Dealing with college students, it’s sometimes hard to know how much things actually get through to them, and if it’s really any different than a “closing prayer” of sorts.

    My personal opinion is that the words we choose to begin and end our community gatherings with are perhaps some of the most important we speak – they set the tone for the time we come together and the time we spend apart. Words like “Can you come find a seat? We’re about to begin our worship together” and “Have a great week!” seem somehow empty when it comes to either drawing us together into an experience of worship, or sending us out with a mission for Christ.

  7. I need help!, I am giving a benediction for a police officers association and I’m stuck, can someone please help meeeeeeeeeeeeee….

    I need this for saturday night, I got caught off guard…. please email me suggestions

    apotelgao@msn.com

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