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  • Writer's pictureSrs of the Precious Blood

What are the Seven Offerings?

There are quite a few traditional prayers within the Precious Blood communities, those communities who have a devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus. One of those prayers is the "Seven Offerings". In this post, we will explain a bit about the prayer and share a few versions of the prayer that might be fruitful for you.

Why seven?

In scripture, there are seven instances when Jesus sheds His Precious Blood:

  1. his circumcision,

  2. sweating blood in the garden,

  3. scourging at the pillar,

  4. crowning of thorns,

  5. carrying of the cross,

  6. his crucifixion,

  7. the spear into his side.

In each of these circumstances, Jesus humbled himself and although He was God, he allowed himself to bleed. And to bleed is to be vulnerable. God became physically vulnerable at least seven times in order to show love for humanity and restore a relationship we damaged.

In our seven offerings devotion, we recall each of these seven times as we too make ourselves vulnerable, humbly asking God for his redemption once again. Oftentimes, we invite God's restorative work in seven different areas of the world or within seven different facets of injustice. In biblical numerology, seven represents perfection and wholeness. We invite God to restore our world to its intended order.

Why offerings?

To offer means to present in hopes of acceptance or to give as a sign of devotion. So it can seem a bit pretentious to think we can offer God anything of value. After all, it was God who gave us all we have and God who offered everything on the cross for us.

To understand the idea of an offering, we must look at Jewish customs. In the times of the Old Testament, a person would make an animal sacrifice or offering to atone for their sins. There were different prescriptions describing the type of animal to be used, different days in which offerings were appropriate and even ways to obtain the animal for the offering. The offering was a way for humanity to reconcile themselves with God. However, Jesus' death on the cross was the ultimate and final offering humanity needed. Instead of a unblemished goat pigeon, Jesus was the spotless lamb of God.

"For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a heifer’s ashes can sanctify those who are defiled so that their flesh is cleansed, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God." --- Hebrews 9:13-14

As Catholics, we no longer offer the blood of pigeons or goats; we come to the altar at Mass, present the gift of ourselves, and we offer the perfect sacrifice of Jesus' blood. We look to God our Father with hope, that He will accept this sacrifice and that we may be in right relationship with Him yet again.

This is why we offer. We present Jesus' blood, given for us out of love, and we humbly beg God for his redemptive work to continue. We understand our own vulnerability and place ourselves at the mercy of God.

In conclusion

And so we pray the Seven Offerings. As communities of the Precious Blood, we have adapted the prayer over the years to express our intentions before God. We bring before Him injustices, pain, violence and more.

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