strategy

Blessing

Synonyms:
Benison
Benediction
Beatifying
Canonizing individuals
Description:
Invoking divine or paternalistic or authoritarian favour on something, through a rite or ritual.
Context:
An ancient strategy employed by many primitive peoples. It is also used by religions. The effectiveness of blessing rests on the belief in the superordinary power of certain words or deeds or on the sacred power of a deity, or power which is the direct source of all being.
Implementation:
Some blessings are of a ritual nature to be repeated over and over. Others are irrevocable one time only occurrences, which are used to dispose persons to be open to grace and also to render holy various occasions of life. Blessings are used to bring spiritual and temporal benefits to people and also to dedicate persons and objects to the holy service.

An act of blessing may not be, or not only be, through words but also through physical contact, such as in the laying on of hands. Physical contact may indicate the passing of power to the blessed, a bestowal of mana; the touch acting as a means of conducting power. Blessing (or cursing) is generally thought more efficacious when carried out by someone in contact with the supernatural, and also by someone who is dying. The blessing of someone who has nothing else to give (that is, the very poor) or lacking in power (women, servants) is also traditionally more efficacious.

In addition to the general use of blessings or curses, traditional times for blessing are the ceremonial blessing of children by their parents, of the Church for the married (the marriage itself being simply a personal arrangement until quite late in the history of Christianity), and on the sale of goods or property. Two aspects of blessing are the calling down of God's bounty upon a person, a group or upon mankind; and the returning of thanksgiving to God. This may be in the context of a sacrament, as at the end of Eucharist, as a sign of the sanctifying of the congregation and the receiving of spiritual and temporal favour and as the sacrifice or surrender of these gifts to God; or in everyday life, as in greetings (Arabic "Salaam"; English "Goodbye" - or "God be with you"; French "Adieu", etc). The magical efficacy of the words, whether spoken or written, of a blessing (or a curse) has at times been held to exist whatever the intention of the person instrumental in the act.

Claim:
1. History is directed by a force beyond the apparent physical causes of the material world. Blessing invokes this force.

2. Blessing gives courage to continue.

3. It places one in an historical context with multiple examples of appropriate behaviour to follow.

Counter Claim:
It encourages dependence on God, rather than on oneself.
Facilitates:
Sanctifying
Values:
Benediction
Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies