Blessing prayer shawls?

I posted this on Charity board but nobody has answered me…I am knitting prayer shawls to send to out-of-town friends in need of big hugs. Should I take the shawls to church and have them blessed before putting them in the mail?
When I send them do I say that they are prayers shawls that have been blessed in the hopes that it will bring you comfort and healing…or do I just say hope you’re feeling better soon?

Thank you

I am knitting a prayer shawl for my mum but I am calling mine a healing shawl. My knitting buddy who is from Kansas
also knits them and has them blessed in church to give to sick people in her congregation. Its up to you what you call them and what you say when you give them out. I was told to have positive thoughts while knitting mine so I could pass those on to the person I was knitting it for.

I agree with Pauline that it is entirely a personal choice. If your friends are committed Christians or similar I would have the shawl blessed at a similar church to the one they go to. A Father or Pastor etc may be willing to bless the item without you going to a church service. Just ring ahead and ask if this if having the item blessed is the path you decide upon.

My DH is a Lutheran pastor, and I ask him to bless my preemie hats before delivering them to the NICU. You can either do it during church, or just ask your pastor to do it privately. In fact, if you want, you can simply say a prayer over the shawls, asking that they be a blessing to the recipients.

I made one for a friend - & I just put a note (I put a similar note in with a baby blanket) that said, “as I made this, you were held in prayer - so each stitch involved has a tie with you & God. I hope when you wrap this around you - you can feel the strength of those prayers surround you.” - I think it could be a nice touch to have others bless it - but I think as you knit - lift that person up in prayer & that’s a special blessing on it that you alone can do since you personally know the person.

It’s neat to knit anything with someone in mind - you can think about the them as you knit - & it’s just a different meaning when its complete.

Post a picture of your shawls when your done!

i think it’s a nice idea and a personal choice. I know that when i knit the baby hats and such for the NICU i flood it with as much positive/healing energy as i can (for those familiar with color magick, it’s white, blue and green energies).

Personally, it would make me uncomfortable if someone told me they were praying for me, but I’m an atheist and uncomfortable with the idea of organized religion (okay, any religion) to begin with.

I would appreciate the hand-knit shawl, I would appreciate the good will behind the gesture, but overtly religionizing it? Not so much.

(I’d only be bugged if I KNEW it was prayed over/blessed. If that makes any sense.)

Thank you for all your input. I finished 2 of them yesterday afternoon (during another thunderstorm) and have decided to have the blessed. I won’t necessarily tell the recipient it is blessed, but that it was knit with love and prayers for heeling. A big hug to say I hope you feel better since I can’t be there in person.

Stiney - I had a roomate in college much like yourself and that is what opened my eyes to the fact that not everyone is open to me saying they are in my prayers.

2 of the recipients are Christian, but not into going to church every weekend etc etc. The other is an older lady who is very much upset she cannot get out to church anymore so I know she will love that it was blessed.

I will post pictures tonight on the Whatca Knittin…
thanks again for your input.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the sentiment, it’s just the way it’s being expressed makes me a little uncomfortable. :shrug: It’s also not something I really heard growing up, from family, friends, or neighbors, so it could also be a cultural thing.

Hi vaknitter,

I’m so glad you are having your shawls blessed. I’ve made many prayer shawls and always take them to my priest for a blessing. He always asks about the recipient and needs and then prays a very special prayer. This means a lot to many people, knowing the prayer, concern, and blessings being extended to them.

If you are familiar with the shawl ministry website, there are many prayers listed. I often use the second one–Prayer of Blessing, by Janet Bristow, 2000. Toward the end, there are also some good ideas for shorter prayers/notes to include with your shawl. The last one I sent to a young mother with cancer, I picked from several ones to custom make something suitable for her. My daughter types and prints them on card stock, and we put it on top of the shawl after it is blessed and before wrapping.

I also understand what Stiney is saying, and of course would approach a shawl enclosure differently in those situations.

Your shawls will mean a lot to the people you are sending them to.