benediction [Lat., = blessing], solemn blessing usually administered in the name of God by a priest or a minister. The temple worship at Jerusalem had fixed forms of benedictions, and Christians have always given them an important place in ceremony, especially at the end of a ritual. Protestants have abandoned many of the blessings of the Roman Catholic Church, such as the apostolic benediction by the pope and his delegates and benediction of the dying. Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, a popular extraliturgical service of Roman Catholics, consists of a blessing of the people by the priest with the Host exposed in a monstrance.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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