Special Services & Blessings
which contribute to Spiritual Life
Besides the Eucharist and the Holy Sacraments, the Greek Orthodox Church has a number of Special Services and Blessings which are associated with the needs, events, and tasks of human life. In celebrating these various Services and Blessings, the Church is constantly bearing witness to the presence and action of God in our lives. Our God is one who loves us, cares for us, and is near to us. The liturgical Services and Blessings also serve to remind us that all of life is important, and that the many events and gifts of life can be directed toward God and receive their fulfillment in Him.
The Special Services are often referred to as Non-sacramental Services in the sense that they are events of community worship which are not usually counted among the Holy Sacraments. However, they clearly have a sacramental quality in the sense that they reveal the presence of the Holy Trinity. Many of these Services, such as the the Blessing of Water or the Entrance into Monastic Life, to name a few, are very significant to the life of the Church. The various Blessings are brief ceremonies which are occasional and do not necessarily involve directly the entire Church Community.
The Church blesses individuals, events such as trips, and objects such as icons, churches, flowers, fields, animals, and food. In so doing, the Church is not only expressing our thanksgiving, but also affirming that no gift, event, or human responsibility is secular or detached from God. For the Greek Orthodox Christian, all good things have God as their origin and goal. Nothing is outside of God’s love and concern.