Last Sunday, we blessed seashells as a way of reminding ourselves to give thanks to God for the gifts of summer. Blessing something is an ancient Christian practice that dedicates an object to God. There is nothing superstitious or magical about performing a blessing. Rather, it’s a way of expressing gratitude; we give thanks for a gift of God and dedicate ourselves to serving God. When we bless a new home, for example, we’re expressing our intention to recognize it as a sacred place where we will continue to grow as disciples. When we bless pets at a church’s Blessing of the Animals service, we recognize that animals are a gift from God who deserve our respect and dedicated stewardship. This past Sunday, we blessed seashells to remind ourselves that evidence of God’s love is all around us and to commit ourselves to using the gifts of God to cultivate love and justice in the world.
I received several requests for the prayer that I used for the Blessing of the Seashells service. Here it is:
Creator God, who made the oceans and beaches that teem with life: we ask for your blessing on these seashells. Let them remind us of fond memories and summer blessings. Let us be thankful for all that you give us, attentive to the beauty of your creation, and dedicated to its protection. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, from whom all blessings come. Amen.