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Blessing Rites of the New Apostolic Church

Along with the sacraments, the church practises blessing rites on special personal occasions. In the blessing, God inclines to the person who requests it in the right spirit, and gives him or her the assurance of his favour, his help, his grace and mercy. Blessings are dispensed on the following special occasions:

  • Confirmation
  • Betrothal
  • Marriage
  • Wedding anniversaries
  • Prenatal development
  • Funerals and burials

All blessing rites generally take place in the context of a divine service and with the members of the congregation attending. On special request, or in view of exceptional circumstances, the blessing rite for these occasions can also be performed at home.

No charges are made for the performance of a blessing rite.

For betrothals, marriages and wedding anniversary blessings, at least one of the partners must be a member of the New Apostolic Church.

Funerals and burials are also carried out by the New Apostolic Church, in accordance with local custom.

Confirmation

Konfirmation in Frankfurt-Eschersheim 2008
Picture source: F-Eschersheim

Confirmation is the rite of blessing in which the confirmation candidate promises to conduct his or her further life on his or her own responsibility, and in accordance with the Gospel. The decision for God is confirmed by the confirmation candidate through the solemn promise which goes back to the ancient Christian baptismal rite:



I renounce the devil and all his works and all his being
and give myself to You, O triune God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
in faith, obedience and the serious intent
to remain true to You until my end.
Amen.

This solemn promise is followed by the confirmation blessing.

Young Christians who have been confirmed have the opportunity of getting involved and contributing in future to youth work and parish work in their community.

Betrothal

Betrothal is the public announcement of a promise of marriage between man and woman. The couple ask for God’s blessing with a view to making their period of preparation leading up to the marriage pleasing to God.

The betrothal blessing can be given when bride and bridegroom can legally be married in accordance with statutory provisions, at least one partner is a New Apostolic Christian and neither of them has been married before.

Marriage

Nach der kirchlichen Trauung
Picture source: F-Eschersheim

The blessing can be dispensed in the context of a regular divine service, or on request at a special wedding service.
In order to receive the marriage blessing, it is necessary that at least one partner be a member of the New Apostolic Church.

Wedding Anniversaries

Silberne und Goldene Hochzeit mit Bezirksapostel Wend

The wedding anniversary blessing is given to couples in grateful recollection of the life they have lived together.


It can be dispensed after

  • 25 years of marriage (silver wedding),
  • 50 years of marriage (golden wedding),
  • 60 years of marriage (diamond wedding),
  • 65 years of marriage (iron wedding),
  • 70 years of marriage (‘grace wedding’) and
  • 75 years of marriage (crown jewel wedding).

The rites of blessing on the occasion of a betrothal, marriage or wedding anniversary are usually performed in the context of divine service, in the presence of all the members of the congregation. On special request, or in view of exceptional circumstances, the blessing rite for these occasions can also be performed at home.

Prenatal Development

A special kind of blessing is the prenatal blessing. This blessing on parents and the unborn life is aimed at the auspicious prenatal development of the child. It is also given to an expecting mother who belongs to a different confession, provided that she understands the significance of the rite and wishes to have the blessing and her husband is a member of the New Apostolic Church.
The rite is generally performed at home.

Funerals and Burials

During the funeral, tribute is paid to the life of the departed and special comfort promised to those who remain. Depending on the wishes of the participants, the funeral ceremony can be performed at the cemetery or else, independently of the burial, in church.

The performance of the funeral ceremony is based on local customs and circumstances, provided that these do not contradict the teaching of the New Apostolic Church. If the wish is expressed in exceptional cases for a pastor to attend the burial subsequently to a funeral which has already taken place, the latter may speak a prayer when the coffin or urn is placed in the earth.

If a member of a different confession has expressed the wish for a funeral ceremony under the auspices of the New Apostolic Church, this can be done in exceptional cases. Essential conditions for this are that the departed had a positive attitude to the New Apostolic Church and has had a relationship with it.