A blessing is a greeting to a person to receive a divine gift, holiness, or the fulfilment of hope. To be blessed is to receive God’s grace and approval in one’s life.

Shrine of Divine Mercy in Vilnius

God is the source and beginning of all blessings. He is all-ruling and glorious forever. He alone, being good, created all things good, and He desires to bestow His blessings on all creatures, even after the fall of man, as a sign of His mercy.

The greatest blessing of God the Father was revealed by Christ in the Gospel, when He blessed the brothers, especially the little ones, by addressing the Father in the prayer of blessing. When God blesses, either by Himself or through others, the Lord’s help is always promised, His grace is proclaimed, and His faithfulness to the Covenant is celebrated.

Blessings direct our attention first and foremost to God, whose majesty and goodness they magnify, but by communicating God’s grace, they are also directed to the people whom God has placed under His Providence. Blessings are also directed to other creatures in whose abundance and diversity God blesses man.

By glorifying God in all things and seeking above all to show the glory of Lord to all people, the Church, via blessings, praises the Lord for them and with them in various circumstances of their lives, and prays for God’s grace to them. At the same time, the Church blesses objects and places, whether they relate to human activity, liturgical life or devotion, but always keeping in mind the people who use those objects and work in those places.

The blessings of the Church are liturgical actions, and their communal celebration is important. The faithful who participate are encouraged to join the voice of the Church with their hearts and lips. The blessing of objects or places should not be celebrated without the participation of at least one believer. It is essential that God’s people have correct understanding of the rites and prayers which the Church includes in the blessings, so that nothing which undermines the purity of the faith, such as superstition or the admixture of false beliefs, may enter into the celebration of the blessings.

The gestures commonly used during the blessing: hands being spread, lifted, joined or laid upon a person, the sign of the cross, sprinkling with holy water, use of incense. The blessings described in the Bible are found in both Testaments: the Old and the New.