Blessing the “Blessing” of Technology

After a couple of inexplicable web browser crashes today, I was heartened to read this piece on MSNBC, posted yesterday from Associated Press reporter Raphael G. Satter.

The Rev. Canon David Parrott blessed a symbolic heap of laptops and smart phones on the altar of London’s 17th-century St. Lawrence Jewry church Monday. An effort, he said, to remind the capital’s busy office workers that God’s grace can reach them in many ways.

Invoking God’s blessing on the world around us is nothing new, and a variety of such blessings can be found in the service books of many Christian churches, including the Book of Blessings of the Roman Ritual, and the Episcopal Church’s Book of Occasional Services. Such blessings are part of the Christian’s confession of faith that God created the world as good, and redeemed the world in Jesus Christ from within the created order. Given our day-to-day reliance for information and entertainment on laptop and desktop computers, cellular telephones and a host of other devices, I’m frankly surprised that such a public blessing of the gizmos and gadgets didn’t gain media attention earlier!

5 comments

  1. I think that sounds terrific. At Epiphany we blessed chalk for the whole sacred doorway graffiti thing, and I remember that the blessing used asked that God “make it useful” for his servants.* I’m sure that something similar would be in line for smart phone and laptops.

    *I’ve got leftover chalk from the past two years now; I’m going to use it when I student teach next year.

  2. I would worry about the considerable number of “less than sacred” uses for these laptops and cell phones. if such a blessing could help them avoid such uses, than I’m all for it…

  3. You know, we do things like bless cars without fretting too much about them being used in a bank heist or to go park on Lovers’ Lane, so on further consideration I’m not sure that it’s a problem.

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