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Why do you say "Bless you" or "God bless you" when somebody sneezes?
My children asked me, and I was not sure what to say. What's your opinion about saying "bless you" for sneezes?
Keep it up. It's a delightful custom that connects us to our heritage. Children are in dire need of such threads in their lives, whether or not they understand them at this stage.
The idea was that sneezing is a way of attempting to expel an evil spirit that has inhabited the body. Wishing a blessing on the sneezer is to help him do it. The tradition predates Christianity.
I think it helps cover over the slight embarrassment of the person having made an unexpected loud noise. I say loud noise because my sneezes are epic. At work everyone in the building knows I've arrived if I sneeze in the car park!
Historically, the phrase became popular when individuals believed sneezing was the releasing of negative energy or evil spirits from your body. It was a way of saying "may the Lord bless you so you will be healthy". Now I just say it out of reflex and enjoy the historic meaning.
For the most part, the various sneeze responses originated from ancient superstitions. Some people believed that a sneeze causes the soul to escape the body through the nose. Saying "bless you" would stop the devil from claiming the person's freed soul. Others believed the opposite: that evil spirits use the sneeze as an opportunity to enter a person's body. There was also the misconception that the heart momentarily stops during a sneeze (it doesn't), and that saying "bless you" was a way of welcoming the person back to life.
I have a different way of viewing this. To me a sneeze is releasing a wish, and saying God bless you, is in hope of gaining your wish. I like this version, which I did make up.
I have to admit I usually don't say anything as sometimes people get embarrassed when they sneeze, especially at an inopportune time, so I tend to look the other way.
by cruelkindness6 years ago
Why do we say bless you when people sneeze?
by NGRIA Bassett8 years ago
by Peeples6 years ago
Why does my dog sneeze when excited?For 10 years everytime my dog gets excited she sneezes. I never to think about it when at the vet. anyone know why?
by yankeeintexas9 months ago
What sounds better to you: Good luck or God bless?In my opinion Christians use the term "Good luck!" why too much! Is it a phrase that Christians should us at all?
by Daniel J. Neumann7 years ago
Can you meditate away having to sneeze?I've held in quite a few sneezes, but it seems that--eventually--the sneezes catch up with me later in the day. What are your experiences?
by nikki17 years ago
Have a great day to all..
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