The 2020 Grace Church Blessing of of Dolls / Toys takes place Feb. 29 at Grace Church Nutley, let's take a look back at last year's event:
NUTLEY, NJ - Nutley girls and boys and their dolls came to Grace Episcopal Church in Nutley for a special service. The annual Blessing of the Dolls and Doll Tea Party.
A short service geared towards the children was held by the Rev. Pamela Bakal, rector, and the Rev. Audrey Hasselbrook, priest associate. The children all received the Order of Service program and were able to participate in the special worship.
Bakal asked the children why they were there. Oliva Ruben, 6, responded, “We love them,” holding up her doll. Bakal said, “Anytime you love someone or someone loves you, that’s a blessing.”
Bakal asked the children what their dolls teach them. “Never give up; teach you how to be calm; they give you joy and happiness. God wants you to be happy and joyful,” she said.
Hasselbrook said when she was a child she would line up her toys and teach them.
Valentina Mejia-Rubio, 11, gave the first reading from Genesis 1:26-31, “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…”
Brianna Armstrong, 10, gave the second reading, Psalm 149, “Hallelujah! Sing to the Lord a new song: his praise is in the congregation of the faithful…”
Ruben read the meditation, “When God made Adam and Eve and placed them in the garden, God put them in charge of taking good care of the Earth….”
Bakal asked the children if they like to play and how long does it take a person to grow up, at age 18 she questioned them. “Maybe you never stop growing up. Hopefully you never stop growing up,” she said.
After the prayers of the people and the Lord’s Prayer, Bakal blessed all the dolls in unison, and afterwards children were able to line up to either of the reverends and have their doll or dolls blessed. The reverends asked the children for their name and the name of their dolls.
After the service, the children, parents and the reverends enjoyed tea or cocoa, finger sandwiches and desserts including homemade scones by one of the congregants.
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