And what do we say when He sneezes?
August 1, 2014 4:41 AM Subscribe
Some prayers invoke blessings on God. Is there a theological justification for this, or is it a translation error?
posted by jackbishop to Religion & Philosophy (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've been musing on phrases in (non-English-language) prayers which seem to request, or invoke, blessings upon God. Some examples are the "benedìcimus te" in the Gloria of the Latin mass, or the omnipresent "ברוך אתה ה' אלוהינו, מלך העולם" which prefaces Hebrew prayers.
As I understand it, both of these express a desire or assertion that God is "blessed", and I'm wondering (nitpickily, perhaps), just how that works. I'm used to the notion that blessings are something which devolves from higher states of Godliness/holiness/power onto lower ones, so asking God to bless you, your family, the angels, etc. is perfectlly comprehensible, and even asking for blessings from intermediaries (saints, angels, priests) makes sense with the whole blessings-roll-downhill notion. But there doesn't seem to be any source from which blessings could devolve onto God, so I'm wondering if there's either some translation nuance or theological justification I'm not getting.
In a nutshell: when we ask for God to be blessed or assert that God is blessed, is there an agent we're expecting to perform the blessing?