Thursday, October 30, 2003

I'm trying to write some prayers to bless some new vestments for use on one of our churches. The only 'pre-written' prayers I can find are exceedingly sacerdotal, speaking of 'Levitical' garments. I'm not comfortable with this sort of language, as I'm pretty sure that Christian priesthood is not the same sort of thing as the levitical priesthood. Also, I happen to believe in the Anglican doctrine which says that vestments are of no theological importance to the celebration of the sacraments. I think they're appropriate, and that they aid worship, but I don't think they are necessary.

I've just found a quotation from Martyn Percy, a good friend, who writes that "To bless people or things is to raise them to their proper status before God, enabling fuller praise to be returned through the very thing that is blessed". This helps enormously. The vestments need to be seen to be raised to their proper status, part of the whole created order giving voice to the praise of God. They will, in their way, contribute to the worship God. This blessing is a small, even trivial, act, but one which God will honour as we seek to worship him. In a way all worship is like this.

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