The sacrament of evangelist blessing is a powerful symbol and unique expression of God’s eternal love and concern for individuals as well as couples, families, or households as a covenant community.
As with Evangelist Blessings for individuals or congregations, the sacrament of evangelist blessing for a couple, family, or household includes the following elements:
- a time of spiritual preparation;
- a prayer offered by a member(s) of the Order of Evangelists;
- access to a written or digital copy of the prayer; and
- after the prayer, sharing by the evangelist(s) and participant(s) in ongoing reflection on God’s continuous blessings followed by active implementation of what the participant(s) discern as guidance for their lives.
Spiritual preparation by the evangelists as well as by the couple, family, or household is expected, and should be planned for through, among other practices, scripture reflection, conversation, fasting, and prayer. The evangelists provide you with appropriate suggestions or materials from which to draw your preparation.
Questions that guide personal reflection and discussion with the evangelists and with you may include:
- What do you understand is the purpose of an evangelist blessing?
- What prompted you to ask for a blessing at this time? What do you hope to receive from the sacrament of evangelist blessing?
- What are your hopes and expectations for you as a couple, family, or household for the future?
- What are your greatest needs at this point in life? What situations or questions are you facing together in your life right now?
- Share something you have done as a couple, family, or household that you are pleased about. What are things you do together that bring you joy? Likewise, what makes you feel frustrated? Angry? Sad?
- What brings you hope as a couple, family, or household?
- What talents do you value in each another?
- Share a time when as a couple, family, or household you felt connected to God.
- How do you best connect to God / what spiritual practices appeal to you?
- Do you pray as a couple, family, or household? What images of God are important to you?
- What experiences bring you peace? A sense of purpose? When have you experienced moments of healing of body, mind, spirit, and relationship?
- As a couple, family, or household how do you think you can best serve God?
- How does the church nurture you? Are there additional ways you’d like to be involved in the life of the congregation, mission center, and world church?
Sacrament of Blessing
When a blessing is offered to you as a couple, family, or household, one or more evangelists may be involved. The evangelists may place hands on the head of each participant at an appropriate moment in the blessing, assuring that everyone receives the symbolic touch of hands of blessing at some point during the sacrament. Or the evangelists can speak the words of blessing first, followed by laying hands of blessing on each participant.
Where will the blessing take place? Through conversation and discernment with you and the evangelists, the location for the blessing will be decided. The sacrament of evangelist blessing may be offered within your home, in the church, or at another location that is mutually agreed upon and important in your life.
After the Sacrament of Blessing
You will receive a written copy of the prayer offered, and a copy is filed in the archive at International Headquarters per guidelines. This blessing prayer and experience can be helpful in continuing discernment and discussion with the evangelists. Those receiving blessings often gain new insights and guidance as they dwell with the words and meaning of the blessing in their lives.
The process of the blessing does not end with the offering of the prayer but continues in the ongoing relationship between you and the evangelists. Whenever possible, evangelists continue to provide spiritual companionship, presence, and blessing to both the individuals as well as groups involved.
Experiences with the Blessing
The uniqueness of each couple, family, or household will lead to elements within the blessing that are special for them and their relationships. One model does not work for all blessings, yet the four elements listed above will be included in some way. The experience is enriched by your participation in the planning of the sacrament, which may involve what scriptures to use, what music or poetry is desired, and a meaningful location.
As with all other forms of the sacrament of evangelist blessing, a blessing for a couple, family, or household is not a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but may be offered as a continuing life blessing as well. Contact evangelists if you are interested in a continuing life blessing.
During the period of preparation, which can be several weeks, months, or even a year, depending upon those involved, the evangelists may meet with each person individually as well as together. Questions such as those listed above may be used, as well as others specific to the circumstances. For many, meeting in the home may feel most comfortable; meeting in public places may be most appropriate in other situations. The prayer offered may combine words to each as individuals as well as to the couple, family, or household depending upon the situation and the desires of the recipients.
May your journey to the Sacrament of Evangelist Blessing bring you and your loved ones a deepened awareness of God’s profound love for you and an invitation to transformative encounters in sacred community.