Lutherans Bless An Ikon

Twenty of the Aasmundveit family and friends came from Norway to Lindisfarne. They are mostly members of the Free Lutheran Church. This church is wary of using what is created as a prayer aid lest we end up worshipping the created instead of the Creator. However, Aasmundveit, who has studied iconography at university and, under a Russian Orthodox mentor, has become a noted icon painter. She presented her specially made icon of Christ's Baptism to our Open Gate Retreat House, and following her talk about its meaning, I was privileged to bless it in our chapel.

After sprinkling it with blessed water, cross-shaped, in the name of the Trinity, I used these words of blessing which the Lutheran and the Orthodox had agreed upon as being right for both traditions:

Reader: For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. 1 Timothy 4: 4-5.

Lord God, our Heavenly Father, you have made yourself known to us in person through your Son Jesus Christ; we ask you to open our eyes to your salvation. We ask you to bless this icon as a visible sign of the invisible reality of your presence and protection. Strengthen our belief in you so that we may use what is created to worship you, our Creator. Let this image remind us that we ourselves are made in your image, who in words and deeds will praise you until the day when you will return in your glory and we will see you as you are, face to face, O God our Redeemer.

Posted at 10:30am on 7th October 2009
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