This much-decorated career military man had tears in his eyes as he wondered at the power of it: "It was as though she wasn't just casually asking for God's blessing, she was invoking it. She was expecting it."
His beautiful memory really got to me, and I have forever since tried to bring down that same sense of blessing in my benedictions, almost always using words that echo some theme of the service, in addition to something like "May the Spirit of Love guide and guard you until we meet again."
And then we sit down for the Postlude, but we have a new Music Director now and THINGS IS GONNA CHANGE!! But that's a whole 'nuther subject.