The Creation of The Abrahamic Blessing
Several years ago, All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena was approached about creating a film. The film would air in the Middle East and show that Christians, Jews and Muslims all have peacemaking and love of God and neighbor at their core.
Dr. Gwynne Guibord was asked to compose the liturgy (download PDF at left). Gwynne wrestled with how to get people out of their heads and experience the deep commonalities among the three faiths.
She brought together Fr. Ian Elliot Davies from St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church, Cantor Mark Saltzman from Temple Kol Ami and Abdelwahab Ben Youcef of the Omar Ibn Al Khattab Foundation. Understanding the power of sound and prayer, Gwynne asked them to find a way to blend their sacred calls to prayer and blessings for peace. Working together to uphold the three traditions’ integrity, they created The Abrahamic Blessing as a poignant expression of the Holy.
The History of Its Presentations
The Abrahamic Blessing premiered at All Saints in May 2008. Many praised it for its profound impact on listeners.
The Blessing was next performed as an interfaith greeting at the 2009 General Convention of The Episcopal Church in the United States. Many said it was by far the Convention’s most moving and compelling moment. The Rev. Peter Rood, Holy Nativity Episcopal Church, Los Angeles voiced the Christian call for this presentation.
The Abrahamic Blessing also helped launch The Guibord Center’s Inaugural Event: Breaking the Barriers in 2011.
The Nature of the Experience
The Abrahamic Blessing is an example of The Guibord Center’s commitment to find ways to make the Holy accessible to all through very real, immediate experiences.