Benedictions: Why lift up your hands?

Discussion in 'Worship' started by Romans922, Mar 23, 2007.

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  1. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    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?
     
  2. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    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.

    [bible]Numbers 6:22-27[/bible]
     
  3. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator Staff Member

    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!
     
  4. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Ah, thanks Bob! I was only familiar with the Num. 6 passage on the congregational blessing.
     
  5. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator Staff Member

    So far I think we make a great team David. :up: :handshake:
     
  6. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    :handshake: :up: We're two for two in less than twenty-four hours!
     
  7. non dignus

    non dignus Puritan Board Sophomore

    It is an oath stance.
     
  8. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

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

    See also this thread and this.
     
  9. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

    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.
     
  10. Poimen

    Poimen Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Taken from: http://www.oceansideurc.org/visitor-booklets/Brown - What is the Benediction.pdf
     
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