Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Liturgy Series Part X: Benediction and Dismissal

LSTC, Augustana Chapel, Chicago.
A. Hanson 2013
I have been a part of many different worship services throughout my life.  In traditional congregations, at College, at camp, and now where I work.

A Benediction is generally something along the lines of:

"The Lord Bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face to shine upon you, the Lord look upon you with favor, and give you peace.  In the name of the Father, + the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen." 

One of my absolute favorite benedictions is from Holden Village:

"O Lord God, who has called us, your servants, to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen."

A benediction is an invocation of God's blessing as the assembly leaves worship and goes out into the world.

A dismissal is the congregation's reminder to itself as to its mission in the world.

My internship congregation says the following together every week as a dismissal:

"Renewed by Christ in Word, water, bread and wine, we go in peace to serve our community and the world.  Thanks be to God."  

Another common benediction is:

"Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.  Thanks be to God."  

This final part of the worship service calls upon God to remain present in the lives of those gathered, and help them to fulfill their vocation as people of God.

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