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Worship discuss Benedictions: Why lift up your hands? in the The Church forums; This question was posed in class this past week, why do ministers raise their hands when they give the benediction? Along with that (because this ...

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    Romans922's Avatar
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    Benedictions: Why lift up your hands?

    This question was posed in class this past week, why do ministers raise their hands when they give the benediction?

    Along with that (because this might come up): Is the benediction a pronouncement or prayer?
    Elder Andrew Barnes (PCA)
    Christ Presbyterian Church (Kansas City, MO)
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    Davidius is offline. Inactive User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Romans922 View Post
    This question was posed in class this past week, why do ministers raise their hands when they give the benediction?

    Along with that (because this might come up): Is the benediction a pronouncement or prayer?
    The benediction is a blessing. I'm not really sure whether that's the same thing as a pronouncement or how that affects the first question.

    Davidius
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    BobVigneault's Avatar
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    Lev. 9:22 Then Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them, and he came down from offering the sin offering and the burnt offering and the peace offerings.

    Luke 24:50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple blessing God.

    Psalm 63:4 So I will bless you as long as I live;
    in your name I will lift up my hands.

    Psalm 134:1 Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord,
    who stand by night in the house of the Lord!
    2 Lift up your hands to the holy place
    and bless the Lord!

    Psalm 141:1 O Lord, I call upon you; hasten to me!
    Give ear to my voice when I call to you!
    2 Let my prayer be counted as incense before you,
    and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!
    When it comes to havoc, I WREAK!
    Bob Vigneault
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    Davidius is offline. Inactive User
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobVigneault View Post
    Lev. 9:22 Then Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them, and he came down from offering the sin offering and the burnt offering and the peace offerings.

    Luke 24:50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple blessing God.
    Ah, thanks Bob! I was only familiar with the Num. 6 passage on the congregational blessing.
    Davidius
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    BobVigneault's Avatar
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    So far I think we make a great team David.
    When it comes to havoc, I WREAK!
    Bob Vigneault
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    Davidius is offline. Inactive User
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobVigneault View Post
    So far I think we make a great team David.
    We're two for two in less than twenty-four hours!
    Davidius
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    Member of All Saints Anglican Church - Chapel Hill (AMiA / Anglican Church of North America)
    Student: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, German and Classics

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    non dignus is offline. Puritanboard Sophomore
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    It is an oath stance.
    David Cronkhite, Elder
    Pasadena United Reformed Church

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    who write as they learn, and learn as they write."

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    VirginiaHuguenot is offline. Puritanboard Librarian
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    Archibald Hall, Gospel Worship, Vol. I, Chap. 6, Of the Public Blessing of the Congregation, pp. 227-228:

    SECTION 2

    All that remains on this ordinance, is to give some directions concerning it. I shall dispatch this head in few words.

    I. The highest decency requires, that it be performed with great reverence. Great fear is due to God in this, as much as in any other piece of service that is done in the meeting of his saints. While ministers stand, and lift up their hands to bless, Lev 9:22-23; 1 Chron 23:13; 1 Kings 8:54-55[4] the congregation should stand up to receive the blessing of Heaven, 1 Kings 8:14. Do we in this blessing express our desire and hope, to receive a kingdom that cannot be moved? and how can we be excused, if we have not grace, whereby we may serve him in it, with reverence and godly fear, since our God is a consuming fire? Heb 12:28-29.

    [4] It is probable enough, that the lifting up of the hands, was a circumstance never omitted in blessing the church, under the Old Testament, both from the practice of Aaron, Lev 9:22, and from the promise relating to the Gentiles, Isa 49:22. "Thus saith the Lord God, behold, I will lift up my hand to the Gentiles."
    See also this thread and this.
    Andrew

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    ChristopherPaul's Avatar
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    I agree with Bob and David.

    Also, I have mentioned this before here, but have yet to substantiate the claim, but I heard/read somewhere that in the early Apostolic churches the Apostles would actually lay hands on each and every church member at the end of the service. As the church grew, this became impractical so they began praying for all at once by raising their hands over the congregation.

    True or not, just like with our ordinations and with requirements with who can administer the sacraments, these practices trace back to the institutions set for worship during the Levitical priesthood era.
    Christopher Reeder
    Husband to Kara, Father to Abigail (11), Caleb (10), Grace (9), ZoŽ (7), Elijah (6), Hannah (4), Mary (2), Philip (1), and Boy (in womb)

    Member: Greenville Presbyterian Church, Free Church of Scotland (Continuing), Greenville, SC

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    Poimen's Avatar
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    We should also know that, historically, the minister has given the benediction with uplifted hands. This too is based on biblical precedent. Evidence of this appears from Aaron’s blessing of the people in Leviticus chapter nine, where we read of Aaron offering sacrifices to the Lord on behalf of the people. In Lev 9.22, we read that after the offerings were made, “Then Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them.” The lifting up of hands in the parting blessing seems to have been the ordinary practice amongst Old Covenant priests, of which history testifies. But the most profound evidence is found in the parting blessing of our Lord himself in Luke 24.50-51: “Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven.” Here we have a clear picture of Christ as our faithful High Priest and his fulfillment of the entire Levitical priesthood.

    For this reason, the Reformers believed that the biblical gesture which was to accompany the benediction was not the sign of the cross, but the lifting up of the hands. As Christ’s ambassador, the minister raises his hands to pronounce the benediction upon God’s people at the end of the service. He does not do this with some sort of mystical or magical powers, but as Christ’s appointed and ordained representative.
    Taken from: http://www.oceansideurc.org/visitor-...enediction.pdf
    Rev. Daniel Kok
    Pastor in the St. Lawrence Presbytery of the RPCNA
    Leduc, Alberta CANADA

    "What sort of pledge and how great is this of love towards us! Christ lives for us not for himself!"
    John Calvin, Commentary on the Hebrews (7:25)

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