A blessing, (also used to refer to bestowing of such) is the infusion of something with holiness, divine will, or one's hopes. Within Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and similar traditions, formal blessings of the church are performed by bishops, priests, and sometimes deacons, but as in many other religions, anyone may formally bless another. A curse at least in its most formal sense is the opposite of a blessing. Blessing is similar to charm.
In the Bible, blessings and curses are related; the book of Deuteronomy prescribes that obedience to the Torah brings God's blessing, while disobedience brings a curse. The Priestly Blessing is set forth at Numbers 6:24-26:
May the LORD bless you, and keep thee; May the LORD make his face shine to upon you, and be gracious to you; May the LORD turn his countenance to you and grant you peace.
This formula has been introduced into Roman Catholic worship as well. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus pronounces blessings on the poor, the humble, and the persecuted in the Beatitudes at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount.
GENERAL RULES CONCERNING BLESSINGS
1. Any priest may confer the blessings of the Church, except those reserved to the Pope, to bishops, or to others.
* A reserved blessing which is conferred by a priest who does not have the required delegation is valid, but illicit, unless the Holy See has declared otherwise in the reservation.
* Deacons and lectors can give validly and licitly only those blessings expressly allowed by law.
2. Both constitutive and invocative blessings are invalid if the forms prescribed by the Church are not observed.
3. Blessings are designed primarily for Catholics, but may likewise be given to catechumens. Moreover, unless the Church expressly forbids, they may be imparted to non-Catholics to assist them in obtaining the light of faith, or together with it, bodily health.
4. Objects which have received the constitutive blessing should be treated reverently, and should never be put to profane or improper use, even though they may be personal possessions.
5. Blessings of the sacred appurtenances which, according to liturgical law, should be blessed before they are used, may be conferred by:
* cardinals and all bishops;
* an ordinary who is not a bishop, in the churches and oratories of his own province;
* a pastor in the churches and oratories located within the confines of his parish, and rectors of churches in their own churches;
* priests delegated thereto by the Ordinary of the place, subject to the extent of the delegation and the power of the one delegating;
* religious superiors and their priest subjects whom they delegate, in their own churches and oratories and in churches of nuns who are under their spiritual care.
* N.B. Rule No. 5 with its five parts is now obsolete in view of the new "Instruction" of September 26, 1964.
6. In every blessing outside of Mass the priest should be vested in surplice and stole of the color proper to the day, unless the rubrics prescribe otherwise.
7. The one who blesses should stand with head uncovered; and at the beginning of each blessing, unless otherwise stated, he says:
* V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
* R. Who made heaven and earth.
* V. The Lord be with you.
* R. May He also be with you.
* He then says the proper prayer or as many as are given.
* Lastly he sprinkles the object with holy water, and if called for, incenses it, without saying anything.
8. When a priest blesses he should be assisted by a server who holds the holy water and aspersory, and he should follow the Ritual or the Missal.
9. Care should be taken that during a blessing nothing indecorous is placed upon the altar, e.g., eatables. Things of this nature should be placed upon a table conveniently arranged.