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A benediction, from the Lat. benedicere (praise, bless, consecrate), was originally praise directed to God (Heb. bĕrākôt, LXX eulogia and then doxologia), whether in the form of public worship, house (table) fellowship, or individual prayer. The Eucharist (from Gk. eucharisteō, be thankful, return thanks) took its name from this practice. The NT supplemented Jewish eulogies (Eulogia) by the wishing of grace (charis) and by formulas of greeting and blessing.

In the church there developed blessings of persons (at worship, official acts, ordinations, installations, etc.)…

Cite this page
Schmidt-Lauber, Hans-Christoph, “Benediction”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 27 May 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_B174>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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