Windfall Woman

Life and times of an older Brittany Murphy look-a-like still working as a sales executive after experiencing a life changing windfall a year or so ago

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Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Sneeze- Sign of a Windfall? God Bless You


Being a serial sneezer, I wondered how saying "God bless you" became associated as an immediate response to a sneeze. Here are a few of the reasons I found in my investigation:

(1) When someone sneezes his heart stops and saying "God bless you" means "I'm glad your heart started again." (your heart doesn't stop)

(2) Saying "God bless you" when you sneeze keeps the devil from flying down your throat. When someone sneezes, say "God bless you and may the devil miss you." (the devil flying down your throat? I don't think so...)

The actual custom of saying "God bless you" after a sneeze was begun literally as a blessing. Pope Gregory the Great ascended to the Papacy coinciding with the start of the plague. Gregory called for litanies, processions and unceasing prayer for God's help and intercession. Columns marched through the streets chanting, "Kyrie Eleison" (Greek for "Lord have mercy"). When someone sneezed, they were immediately blessed ("God bless you!") in the hope that they would not succumb to the plague. Something worked as the plague did diminish.

There are many superstitions regarding sneezing: Sneeze on Monday for health, Sneeze on Tuesday for wealth, Sneeze on Wednesday for a letter, Sneeze on Thursday for something better, Sneeze on Friday for sorrow, Sneeze on Saturday, see your sweetheart tomorrow, Sneeze on Sunday, safety seek.

And lastly, a sneeze before breakfast is a sign that you will hear exciting news before the end of the day.

I've been trying to think - did I sneeze on a Tuesday? Or was it Thursday? Here's a sneeze and God Bless You (even if you didn't sneeze!)

9 Comments:

Anonymous Snake said...

I also do sneeze quite a bit, more than I'd like to, yet have never given much thought to the philosophical (historical, cultural, etc.) implications. That is until now.

10:03 PM  
Blogger Windfall Woman said...

That's the purpose of this blog Snake. To bring to light those weighty issues like the importance and gravity of sneezing!

10:12 PM  
Blogger Ruvym said...

I read that they thought that when you sneeze your heart stops (as you mention), but that you say "God bless you," because the fear is that if you're going to die in that moment, and your soul is off to heaven, you've been blessed right before you head over there. Sort of the same thing, but a little different.

1:20 AM  
Blogger Phoe said...

Lol, I tend to sneeze every day, sensitive nose you see. Now I think I'll try to avoid sneezing on Fridays! Interesting stuff =)

1:08 AM  
Blogger 4evergapeach said...

I had heard of the 'heart stopping' theory but none of the other superstitions. Interesting. When I sneeze I always hold it in and my husband says it is bad for me. Did you read anything to substansiate that? I have a little gripe with him also concerning his sneezes. See, I always say "excuse me" when I sneeze and anyone nearby will say "God bless you" (as will I to anyone else) but when my husband sneezes he say "God bless me". So I never feel that I need to say "God bless you" since he has already blessed himself. Am I being rude? (now you get to play 'Miss Manners)

Thanks for stopping in again!

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Mike Ashley said...

Because on a sinus conditions and allergies, as well an occasional cold, I have been told "God Bless you" many times. Very interesting posting on the subject.
... Tissue in hand, I bid you adieu.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Flubberwinkle said...

To add to the sneeze research blog: In Greek we say: "Yitses" (to your health).
My husband gets these weird sneeze attacks, starts off with one, I cordially respond: "Yitses". Goes off with number 2 sneeze, I emphasize "Yitses". Continues on to number 3,4 and sometimes even 5... where he loses control of the sneeze volume and I shout "Enough already! Shut up!" So I kinda feel guilty about protecting my eardrums, when my spouse has been fighting back several heart attacks.
:D
p.s. I looked up sneeze at wikipedia.org, interesting stuff.

4:50 PM  
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