When the body and blood are received, a blessing is spoken to those who communed: “Now may this, the true body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, keep you in the one true faith unto live everlasting. Amen.” This blessing is given as an assurance that the body and blood eaten and drunk in faith, was received as a blessing and not a curse.
The Nunc Dimittis is sung as a thankful response to God for the reception of Christ’s body and blood. Like Simeon, we have held, seen, and received the salvation promised to Israel. We can depart in peace from the Lord’s House and this life.
The Divine Service comes to a close with the Benediction. This blessing is known as the Aaronic Benediction. It is found in Numbers 6:22-26: The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.
The first verse offers God’s blessing and protection. The second verse announces the favor and mercy of God. The third verse assures us of God’s love. To lift up one’s countenance is an ancient form of speech for bestowing one’s love, gazing longingly and feeling upon another, like a spouse for their spouse or parent for their child.