My dad posted about blessing today, and my comment got a little overgrown, I thought it was more appropriate here:
One of the many wonderful things about my WA experience was my opportunity to give the blessing at the end of Vespers every week:
May God's goodness be yours
and well and seven times well may you spend your lives.
May you be an isle in the sea;
May you be a hill on the shore;
May you be a staff to the weak;
May you be a star in the darkness.
May the Love Christ Jesus gave fill every heart for you.
May the Love Christ Jesus gave fill you for everyone.
and whenever I recite it, even now, I can hear the way Nathan used to say it the year before me and the way Matt used to say it before that. I can see the faces of the faithful vesperers, sitting in the dim light of the cave, sometimes with the reflections of the candles, looking at me, often with a sense of appreciation or even affection. It was like the moment we were all ready for, that we couldn’t leave without. It was one constant in our changing liturgy, and I won't easily forget the way people received it as a gift. It was almost sacramental in the way Father Ron suggests in his comment on Dad’s blog. Not that I consider myself qualified to administer a sacrament, or even a blessing. But somehow through God’s grace, I sat on that stool every Thursday night, took a deep breath, closed my eyes for a moment, and did it with remarkable peace and a joy. And I meant it. That experience has lead me to savor the moment of blessing when I am in any congregation, as a divine gift for a community. Both a sending out for service and a reminder that we do nothing through our own strength.