Sancta Missa - Rituale Romanum (Roman Ritual) - Blessings for special days and feasts



CHAPTER II: BLESSINGS FOR SPECIAL DAYS AND FEASTS OF THE CHURCH YEAR

1. RITE FOR PROVIDING HOLY WATER

Some minor changes have been made in this rite, such as the omission of certain words, putting salt into the water only once, and the use of the short conclusion for the orations (see "Ephemerides Liturgicae" 75 [1961] 426). The holy-water font is a counterpart of the baptismal font; and the sacramental use of holy water is related to the great sacrament of water, baptism. Easter is the day par excellence for baptism, and every Sunday is a little Easter. Consequently, on the Lord's day the Church blesses water to be used in the ceremony of renewal of baptism, for as often as she sprinkles us with the blessed water a sign is given us of that sacrament which once bestowed the gift of life. The rubrics direct that the water may be blessed either in the church proper or in the sacristy. For the edification of the people it might be well to perform this blessing in the sight of the people, at least occasionally. The practice of putting salt into the water comes no doubt from the incident of the miraculous cure of the poisonous well (see 4 Kings 2.19-21), where the prophet Eliseus used salt to purify the water of the well.

1. On Sundays, or whenever this blessing takes place, salt and fresh water are prepared in the church or in the sacristy. The priest, vested in surplice and purple stole, says:

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

2. The exorcism of salt follows: God's creature, salt, I cast out the demon from you by the living + God, by the true + God, by the holy + God, by God who ordered you to be thrown into the water- spring by Eliseus to heal it of its barrenness. May you be a purified salt, a means of health for those who believe, a medicine for body and soul for all who make use of you. May all evil fancies of the foul fiend, his malice and cunning, be driven afar from the place where you are sprinkled. And let every unclean spirit be repulsed by Him who is coming to judge both the living and the dead and the world by fire.

All: Amen.
Let us pray.

Almighty everlasting God, we humbly appeal to your mercy and goodness to graciously bless + this creature, salt, which you have given for mankind's use. May all who use it find in it a remedy for body and mind. And may everything that it touches or sprinkles be freed from uncleanness and any influence of the evil spirit; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

Exorcism of the water:

God's creature, water, I cast out the demon from you in the name of God + the Father almighty, in the name of Jesus + Christ, His Son, our Lord, and in the power of the Holy + Spirit. May you be a purified water, empowered to drive afar all power of the enemy, in fact, to root out and banish the enemy himself, along with his fallen angels. We ask this through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is coming to judge both the living and the dead and the world by fire.

All: Amen.
Let us pray.

O God, who for man's welfare established the most wonderful mysteries in the substance of water, hearken to our prayer, and pour forth your blessing + on this element now being prepared with various purifying rites. May this creature of yours, when used in your mysteries and endowed with your grace, serve to cast out demons and to banish disease. May everything that this water sprinkles in the homes and gatherings of the faithful be delivered from all that is unclean and hurtful; let no breath of contagion hover there, no taint of corruption; let all the wiles of the lurking enemy come to nothing. By the sprinkling of this water may everything opposed to the safety and peace of the occupants of these homes be banished, so that in calling on your holy name they may know the well-being they desire, and be protected from every peril; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

3. Now the priest pours the salt into the water in the form of a cross, saying:

May this salt and water be mixed together; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit.

All: Amen.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

God, source of irresistible might and king of an invincible realm, the ever-glorious conqueror; who restrain the force of the adversary, silencing the uproar of his rage, and valiantly subduing his wickedness; in awe and humility we beg you, Lord, to regard with favor this creature thing of salt and water, to let the light of your kindness shine upon it, and to hallow it with the dew of your mercy; so that wherever it is sprinkled and your holy name is invoked, every assault of the unclean spirit may be baffled, and all dread of the serpent's venom be cast out. To us who entreat your mercy grant that the Holy Spirit may be with us wherever we may be; through Christ our Lord. All: Amen.

4. On Sundays after the water is blessed and before Mass begins the celebrant sprinkles the altar, himself, the ministers, and the people as prescribed in the Missal and in the ceremony of the Ritual given below.

5. Christ's faithful are permitted to take holy water home with them to sprinkle the sick, their homes, fields, vineyards, and the like. It is recommended too that they put it in fonts in the various rooms, so that they may use it to bless themselves daily and frequently.

2. THE SUNDAY BLESSING WITH HOLY WATER

There has been a slight change made in this ceremony--the priest no longer says the Miserere while he sprinkles the people (see "Ephemerides Liturgicae" 75 [1961] 426), and the wording of the rubric for Passiontime and Eastertime also has been altered. The significance of this blessing is touched on in the commentary given above, and the frequent omission of this blessing is noted with regret. Some say that it interferes with the introit procession, but some solution could be found.

The priest who is to offer the Mass, vested in cope of the proper color, comes to the altar, and as he kneels on the step with the ministrants (also in Eastertime) he receives the aspersory from the deacon. First he sprinkles the altar three times (simultaneously intoning the antiphon), then himself, and then he stands and sprinkles the ministrants. The choir takes up the singing of the antiphon, during which time the celebrant sprinkles the clergy and the people. The proper antiphons are given below (for the music for these see the music supplement).

Antiphon outside Eastertime

Purify me with hyssop, * Lord, and I shall be clean of sin. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Ps. 50.1. Have mercy on me, God, * in your great kindness. V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. * As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Purify me with hyssop, Lord, and I shall be clean of sin. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

The antiphon is sung thus at the sprinkling with holy water on all Sundays outside Eastertime; but the doxology is not said during Passiontime, and the antiphon is repeated right after the psalm verse.

During Eastertime, from Easter Sunday until Pentecost inclusive the following antiphon is sung:

Antiphon during Eastertime

I saw water * flowing out from beneath the threshold of the temple, alleluia; and all to whom this water came were saved, and they shall say, alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 117. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, * for His mercy endures forever. V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. * As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. I saw water flowing out from beneath the threshold of the temple, alleluia; and all to whom this water came were saved, and they shall say, alleluia, alleluia.

The first antiphon given above is resumed on Trinity Sunday.

On Easter Sunday, in churches where there is a baptismal font, the water used for the sprinkling is that which has been blessed during the Easter Vigil, that which was taken from the font before the holy oils were poured in.

After the singing of the antiphon the priest, who by this time has returned to the altar, stands at the foot of the altar, and with hands folded chants the following:

P: Lord, show us your mercy (alleluia).

All: And grant us your salvation (alleluia).

P: Lord, heed my prayer.

All: And let my cry be heard by you.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Hear us, holy Lord and Father, almighty everlasting God, and in your goodness send your holy angel from heaven to watch over and protect all who are assembled in this dwelling, to be with them and give them comfort and encouragement; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

3. BLESSING OF WINE

on the Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist

At the end of the principal Mass on the feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist, after the last Gospel, the priest, retaining all vestments except the maniple, blesses wine brought by the people. This is done in memory and in honor of St. John, who drank without any ill effects the poisoned wine offered to him by his enemies.

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

If it please you, Lord God, bless + and consecrate + this vessel of wine (or any other beverage) by the power of your right hand; and grant that, through the merits of St. John, apostle and evangelist, all your faithful who drink of it may find it a help and a protection. As the blessed John drank the poisoned potion without any ill effects, so may all who today drink the blessed wine in his honor be delivered from poisoning and similar harmful things. And as they offer themselves body and soul to you, may they obtain pardon of all their sins; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

Lord, bless + this creature drink, so that it may be a health- giving medicine to all who use it; and grant by your grace that all who taste of it may enjoy bodily and spiritual health in calling on your holy name; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

May the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit, come on this wine (or any other beverage) and remain always.

All: Amen.

It is sprinkled with holy water. If the blessing is given privately outside of Mass, the priest is vested in surplice and stole and performs the ceremony as given above.

4. ANOTHER FORM FOR BLESSING WINE

on the Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist

At the end of Mass, after the last Gospel, the following is said:

Psalm 22

(for this psalm see Rite for Baptism of Children)

After the psalm: Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Our Father (the rest inaudibly until:)

P: And lead us not into temptation.

All: But deliver us from evil.

P: Save your servants.

All: Who trust in you, my God.

P: Lord, send them aid from your holy place.

All: And watch over them from Sion.

P: Let the enemy have no power over them.

All: And the son of iniquity be powerless to harm them.

P: Then if they drink anything deadly.

All: It will not harm them.

P: Lord, heed my prayer.

All: And let my cry be heard by you.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Holy Lord, almighty Father, everlasting God, who willed that your Son, co-eternal and consubstantial with you, come down from heaven and in the fulness of time be made flesh for a time of the blessed Virgin Mary, in order to seek the lost and wayward sheep and carry it on His shoulders to the sheepfold, and to heal the man fallen among robbers of his wounds by pouring in oil and wine; may you bless + and sanctify + this wine which you have vintaged for man's drink. Let all who taste or drink of it on this holy feastday have health of body and soul; by your grace let it be a solace to the man who is on a journey and bring him safely to his destination; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.
Let us pray.

Lord Jesus Christ, who spoke of yourself as the true vine and the apostles as the branches, and who willed to plant a chosen vineyard of all who love you, bless + this wine and empower it with your blessing; so that all who taste or drink of it may, through the intercession of your beloved disciple John, apostle and evangelist, be spared every deadly and poisonous affliction and enjoy bodily and spiritual well-being. We ask this of you who live and reign forever and ever.

All: Amen.
Let us pray.

God, who in creating the world brought forth for mankind bread as food and wine as drink, bread to nourish the body and wine to cheer the heart; who conferred on blessed John, your beloved disciple, such great favor that not only did he himself escape the poisoned potion, but could restore life by your power to others who were dead from poison; grant to all who drink this wine spiritual gladness and everlasting life; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

It is sprinkled with holy water.

5. BLESSING OF EPIPHANY WATER

on the Eve of Epiphany

(Approved by the Congregation of Sacred Rites, Dec. 6, 1890)

{This blessing comes from the Orient, where the Church has long emphasized in her celebration of Epiphany the mystery of our Lord's baptism, and by analogy our baptism. This aspect is not neglected in western Christendom, although in practice we have concentrated on the visit of the Magi. Many years before the Latin Rite officially adopted the blessing of Epiphany water, diocesan rituals, notably in lower Italy, had contained such a blessing.}

1. At the appointed time the celebrant, vested in white cope (if a bishop, the mitre is worn but removed during the prayers), and the deacon and subdeacon, vested in white dalmatic and tunic respectively, come before the altar. They are preceded by acolytes, who carry the processional cross and lighted candles (which are put in their proper place), and by the other clergy. A vessel of water and a container of salt are in readiness in the sanctuary.

First the Litany of the Saints is sung, during which time all kneel. After the invocation "That you grant eternal rest," etc. the celebrant rises and sings the following two invocations, the second in a higher key:

That you bless + this water. R. We beg you to hear us. That you bless + and sanctify + this water R. We beg you to hear us.

Then the chanters continue the litany up to and including the last Lord, have mercy.

After this the celebrant chants Our Father the rest inaudibly until:

P: And lead us not into temptation.

All: But deliver us from evil.

2. Then the following psalms are sung:

Psalm 28

(for this psalm see Rite for Baptism of Adults)

Psalm 45

P: God is our refuge and our strength, * an ever-present help in distress.

All: Therefore we fear not, though the earth be shaken and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea;

P: Though its waters rage and foam * and the mountains quake at its surging.

All: The Lord of hosts is with us; * our stronghold is the God of Jacob.

P: There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God, * the holy dwelling of the Most High.

All: God is in its midst; it shall not be disturbed; * God will help it at the break of dawn.

P: Though nations are in turmoil, kingdoms totter, * His voice resounds, the earth melts away;

All: The Lord of hosts is with us; * our stronghold is the God of Jacob.

P: Come, see the deeds of the Lord, * the astounding things He has wrought on earth.

All: He has stopped wars to the end of the earth; * the bow he breaks; He splinters the spears; He burns the shields with fire.

P: Desist, and confess that I am God, * exalted among the nations, exalted upon the earth.

All: The Lord of hosts is with us; * our stronghold is the God of Jacob.

P: Glory be to the Father.

All: As it was in the beginning.

Psalm 146

P: Praise the Lord, for He is good; * sing praise to our God, for He is gracious; it is fitting to praise Him.

All: The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem; * the dispersed of Israel He gathers.

P: He heals the brokenhearted * and binds up their wounds.

All: He tells the number of the stars; * He calls each by name.

P: Great is our Lord and mighty in power; * to His wisdom there is no limit.

All: The Lord sustains the lowly; * the wicked He casts to the ground.

P: Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; * sing praise with the harp to our God.

All: Who covers the heavens with clouds, * who provides rain for the earth;

P: Who makes grass sprout on the mountains * and herbs for the service of men;

All: Who gives food to the cattle, * and to the young ravens when they cry to Him.

P: He delights not in the strength of the steed, * nor is He pleased with the fleetness of men.

All: The Lord is pleased with those who fear Him, * with those who hope for His kindness.

P: Glory be to the Father.

All: As it was in the beginning.

The celebrant then chants:

Exorcism against Satan and the apostate angels

In the name of our Lord Jesus + Christ and by His power, we cast you out, every unclean spirit, every devilish power, every assault of the infernal adversary, every legion, every diabolical group and sect; begone and stay far from the Church of God, from all who are made in the image of God and redeemed by the precious blood of the divine + Lamb. Never again dare, you cunning serpent, to deceive the human race, to persecute the Church of God, nor to strike the chosen of God and to sift them as + wheat. For it is the Most High God who commands you, + He to whom you heretofore in your great pride considered yourself equal; He who desires that all men might be saved and come to the knowledge of truth. God the Father + commands you. God the Son + commands you. God the Holy + Spirit commands you. The majesty of Christ, the eternal Word of God made flesh + commands you; He who for the salvation of our race, the race that was lost through your envy, humbled Himself and became obedient even unto death; He who built His Church upon a solid rock, and proclaimed that the gates of hell should never prevail against her, and that He would remain with her all days, even to the end of the world. The sacred mystery of the cross + commands you, as well as the power of all the mysteries of Christian faith. The exalted Virgin Mary, Mother of God + commands you, who in her lowliness crushed your proud head from the first moment of her Immaculate Conception. The faith of the holy apostles Peter and Paul and the other apostles + commands you. The blood of the martyrs and the devout intercession of all holy men and women commands you.

Therefore, accursed dragon and every diabolical legion, we adjure you by the living + God, by the true + God, by the holy + God, by the God who so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but shall have life everlasting; cease your deception of the human race and your giving them to drink of the poison of everlasting damnation; desist from harming the Church and fettering her freedom. Begone Satan, you father and teacher of lies and enemy of mankind. Give place to Christ in whom you found none of your works; give place to the one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church, which Christ Himself purchased with His blood. May you be brought low under God's mighty hand. May you tremble and flee as we call upon the holy and awesome name of Jesus, before whom hell quakes, and to whom the virtues, powers, and dominations are subject; whom the cherubim and seraphim praise with unwearied voices, saying: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts!

Next the choir sings the following antiphon and canticle:

Antiphon

Today the Church is espoused to her heavenly bridegroom, for Christ washes her sins in the Jordan; the Magi hasten with gifts to the regal nuptials; and the guests are gladdened with water made wine, alleluia.

Canticle of Zachary

Luke 1.68-79

P: "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel! * He has visited His people and brought about its redemption.

All: He has raised for us a stronghold of salvation * in the house of David His servant,

P: And redeemed the promise He had made * through the mouth of His holy prophets of old--

All: To grant salvation from our foes * and from the hand of all that hate us;

P: To deal in mercy with our fathers * and be mindful of His holy covenant,

All: Of the oath he had sworn to our father Abraham, * that He would enable us--

P: Rescued from the clutches of our foes--* to worship Him without fear,

All: In holiness and observance of the Law, * in His presence, all our days.

P: And you, my little one, will be hailed 'Prophet of the Most High'; * for the Lord's precursor you will be to prepare His ways;

All: You are to impart to His people knowledge of salvation * through forgiveness of their sins.

P: Thanks be to the merciful heart of our God! * a dawning Light from on high will visit us

All: To shine upon those who sit in darkness and in the shadowland of death, * and guide our feet into the path of peace."

P: Glory be to the Father.

All: As it was in the beginning.

Or instead of the "Benedictus" the "Magnificat" may be chosen (for the Magnificat see Blessing of Homes). At the end of the canticle the antiphon given above is repeated. Then the celebrant sings:

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

God, who on this day revealed your only-begotten Son to all nations by the guidance of a star, grant that we who now know you by faith may finally behold you in your heavenly majesty; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

Next he blesses the water:

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

From here on the exorcism of salt and the prayer that follows it, the exorcism of water and the two prayers that follow it, the mixing of the salt and water and then the concluding prayer--all of these are the same as the ones used on pp. 395-97.

At the end of the blessing the priest sprinkles the people with the blessed water.

Lastly the "Te Deum" is sung (for the "Te Deum" and its oration see Renewal of the Marriage Vows).

6. BLESSING OF GOLD, INCENSE, MYRRH

on Epiphany

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Accept, holy Father, from me, your unworthy servant, these gifts which I humbly offer to the honor of your holy name and in recognition of your peerless majesty, as you once accepted the sacrifice of the just Abel and the same kind of gifts from the three Magi.

God's creatures, gold, incense, and myrrh, I cast out the demon from you by the Father + almighty, by Jesus + Christ, His only- begotten Son, and by the Holy + Spirit, the Advocate, so that you may be freed from all deceit, evil, and cunning of the devil, and become a saving remedy to mankind against the snares of the enemy. May those who use you, with confidence in the divine power, in their lodgings, homes, or on their persons, be delivered from all perils to body and soul, and enjoy all good things. We ask this through the power and merits of our Lord and Savior, the intercession of the blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and of all the saints, in particular the godly men who on this day venerated Christ the Lord with the very same gifts.

All: Amen.

God, the invisible and endless One, in the holy and awesome name of your Son, be pleased to endow with your blessing + and power these creatures of gold, incense, and myrrh. Protect those who will have them in their possession from every kind of illness, injury, and danger, anything that would interfere with the well- being of body and soul, and so be enabled to serve you joyously and confidently in your Church; you who live and reign in perfect Trinity, God, forever and ever.

All: Amen.

And may the blessing of almighty God, Father, + Son, and Holy + Spirit, come upon these creatures of gold, incense, and myrrh, and remain always.

All: Amen.

They are sprinkled with holy water.

7. BLESSING OF CHALK

on Epiphany

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Bless, + O Lord God, this creature, chalk, and let it be a help to mankind. Grant that those who will use it with faith in your most holy name, and with it inscribe on the doors of their homes the names of your saints, Casper, Melchior, and Baltassar, may through their merits and intercession enjoy health in body and protection of soul; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

It is sprinkled with holy water.

8. BLESSING OF HOMES

on Epiphany

As the priest comes into the home he says:

P: God's peace be in this home.

All: And in all who live here.

P. Ant.: Magi from the East came to Bethlehem to adore the Lord; and opening their treasure chests they presented Him with precious gifts: gold for the great King, incense for the true God, and myrrh in symbol of His burial. Alleluia.

Canticle of the Magnificat

Luke 1.46-55

P: "My soul * extols the Lord;

All: And my spirit leaps for joy in God my Savior.

P: How graciously He looked upon His lowly maid! * Oh, see, from this hour onward age after age will call me blessed!

All: How sublime is what He has done for me, * the Mighty One, whose name is 'Holy'!

P: From age to age He visits those * who worship Him in reverence.

All: His arm achieves the mastery: * He routs the haughty and proud of heart.

P: He puts down princes from their thrones, * and exalts the lowly;

All: He fills the hungry with blessings, * and sends away the rich with empty hands.

P: He has taken by the hand His servant Israel, * and mercifully kept His faith,

All: As He had promised our fathers * with Abraham and his posterity forever and evermore."

P: Glory be to the Father.

All: As it was in the beginning.

Meanwhile the home is sprinkled with holy water and incensed. At the end of the Magnificat the antiphon is repeated. Then the priest says Our Father (the rest inaudibly until:)

P: And lead us not into temptation.

All: But deliver us from evil.

P: Many shall come from Saba.

All: Bearing gold and incense.

P: Lord, heed my prayer.

All: And let my cry be heard by you.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May he also be with you.

Let us pray.

God, who on this day revealed your only-begotten Son to all nations by the guidance of a star, grant that we who now know you by faith may finally behold you in your heavenly majesty; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

Responsory: Be enlightened and shine forth, O Jerusalem, for your light is come; and upon you is risen the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ born of the Virgin Mary.

P: Nations shall walk in your light, and kings in the splendor of- your birth.

All: And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.

Let us pray.

Lord God almighty, bless + this home, and under its shelter let there be health, chastity, self-conquest, humility, goodness, mildness, obedience to your commandments, and thanksgiving to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. May your blessing remain always in this home and on those who live here; through Christ our Lord. All: Amen.

9. BLESSING OF CANDLES

on the Feast of St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

God, almighty and all-mild, by your Word alone you created the manifold things in the world, and willed that that same Word by whom all things were made take flesh in order to redeem mankind; you are great and immeasurable, awesome and praiseworthy, a worker of marvels. Hence in professing his faith in you the glorious martyr and bishop, Blaise, did not fear any manner of torment but gladly accepted the palm of martyrdom. In virtue of which you bestowed on him, among other gifts, the power to heal all ailments of the throat. And now we implore your majesty that, overlooking our guilt and considering only his merits and intercession, it may please you to bless + and sanctify + and impart your grace to these candles. Let all men of faith whose necks are touched with them be healed of every malady of the throat, and being restored in health and good spirits let them return thanks to you in your holy Church, and praise your glorious name which is blessed forever; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

They are sprinkled with holy water.

10. BLESSING OF THROATS

on the Feast of St. Blaise

{This is one of the most popular blessings. St. Blaise was bishop of Sebaste in Cappadocia, and was martyred by beheading about A.D. 316. Not much more can be affirmed of him with any degree of historical accuracy, but legends about him are numerous. One day- -so goes the legend--Blaise met a poor woman whose only pig had been snatched up in the fangs of a wolf but at the command of the bishop the wolf restored the pig alive to its owner. The woman did not forget the favor, for later, when the bishop was languishing in prison, she brought him tapers to dispel the darkness and gloom. To this story may be attributed the practice of using lighted candles in bestowing the blessing of St. Blaise. While in prison he performed a wonderful cure on a boy who had a fishbone lodged in his throat and who was in danger of choking to death. From this account we have the longtime custom of invoking the Saint for all kinds of throat trouble.}

After blessing the candles on the feast of St. Blaise, the priest holds two candles fastened like a cross to the throat of the person kneeling before him, and says:

By the intercession of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every malady of the throat, and from every possible mishap; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit.

R. Amen.

11. BLESSING OF BREAD, WINE, WATER, FRUIT

For the Relief of Throat Ailments

on the Feast of St. Blaise

(Approved by the Congregation of Sacred Rites on Sept. 25, 1883)

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

God, Savior of the world, who consecrated this day by the martyrdom of blessed Blaise, granting him among other gifts the power of healing all who are afflicted with ailments of the throat; we humbly appeal to your boundless mercy, begging that these fruits, bread, wine, and water brought by your devoted people be blessed + and sanctified + by your goodness. May those who eat and drink these gifts be fully healed of all ailments of the throat and of all maladies of body and soul, through the prayers and merits of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr. We ask this of you who live and reign, God, forever and ever.

All: Amen.

They are sprinkled with holy water.

12. IMPOSING BLESSED ASHES on Ash Wednesday

The priest says, as he sprinkles the blessed ashes on the head of the person:

Gen. 3.19: Remember, man, that you are dust, and into dust you will return.

13. BLESSING OF HOMES

on Holy Saturday and during Eastertime[1]

1. The parish priest (or a priest who has his permission), vested in surplice and white stole, visits the homes of his parishioners on Holy Saturday or another day during Eastertime, in order to bless the homes and their occupants with the Easter water. He should be assisted by a server who carries a vessel containing blessed water taken from the baptismal font before the holy oils were added. As he enters the home he says:

P: God's peace be in this home.

All: And in all who live here.

2. Then he sprinkles the dwelling's main room and the occupants, saying the antiphon:

I saw water flowing out from beneath the threshold of the temple, alleluia; and all to whom this water came were saved, and they shall say, alleluia, alleluia. (Ps. 117.) Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever. V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. I saw water flowing out from beneath the threshold of the temple, alleluia; and all to whom this water came were saved, and they shall say, alleluia, alleluia.

Next he says:

P: Lord, show us your mercy, alleluia.

All: And grant us your salvation, alleluia.

P: Lord, heed my prayer.

All: And let my cry be heard by you.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Hear us, holy Lord and Father, almighty everlasting God; and as you guarded the homes of the Israelites from the avenging angel on their flight from Egypt, if their homes were signed with the blood of a lamb--therein prefiguring our Easter sacrifice in which Christ is the victim--so likewise in your goodness send your holy angel to watch over and protect all who live in this home, to be with them and give them comfort and encouragement; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

3. The rite described above is used also when the blessing of homes is carried out on another day in Eastertime, in accord with local custom.

14. THE EASTER BLESSINGS OF FOOD

{The Easter blessings of food owe their origin to the fact that these particular foods, namely, fleshmeat and milk products, including eggs, were forbidden in the Middle Ages during the Lenten fast and abstinence. When the feast of Easter brought the rigorous fast to an end, and these foods were again allowed at table, the people showed their joy and gratitude by first taking the food to church for a blessing. Moreover, they hoped that the Church's blessing on such edibles would prove a remedy for whatever harmful effects the body might have suffered from the long period of self-denial. Today the Easter blessings of food are still held in many churches in the U. S., especially in those of the Slavic peoples.}

A. Blessing of Lamb

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

God, who by your servant Moses commanded your people in their deliverance from Egypt to kill a lamb as a type of our Lord Jesus Christ, and prescribed that its blood be used to sign the two door-posts of their homes; may it please you to bless + and sanctify + this creature-flesh which we, your servants, desire to eat in praise of you. We ask this in virtue of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you forever and ever.

All: Amen.

It is sprinkled with holy water.

B. Blessing of Eggs

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Lord, let the grace of your blessing + come upon these eggs, that they be healthful food for your faithful who eat them in thanksgiving for the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you forever and ever.

All: Amen.

They are sprinkled with holy water.

C. Blessing of Bread

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Lord Jesus Christ, bread of angels, true bread of everlasting life, be pleased to bless + this bread, as you once blessed the five loaves in the wilderness, so that all who eat of it may derive health in body and soul. We ask this of you who live and reign forever and ever.

All: Amen.

It is sprinkled with holy water.

D. Another Blessing of Bread

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Holy Lord and Father, almighty everlasting God, be pleased to bless + this bread, imparting to it your hallowed favor from on high. May it be for all who eat of it a healthful food for body and soul, as well as a safeguard against every disease and all assaults of the enemy. We ask this of our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, the bread of life who came down from heaven and gives life and salvation to the world; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.

All: Amen.

It is sprinkled with holy water.

E. Blessing of New Produce

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Lord, bless + this new produce, N., and grant that those who eat of it in praise of your holy name may be nourished in body and soul; through Christ our Lord. All: Amen.

15. BLESSING OF CROSSES

which are to be set in vineyards, fields, etc., on or about May 3

(Approved by the Congregation of Sacred Rites, Feb. 10, 1888)

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Almighty everlasting God, merciful Father and our unalloyed comfort, in virtue of the bitter suffering that your only- begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, endured for us sinners on the wood of the cross, bless + these crosses which your faithful will set up in their vineyards, gardens, fields, and other places. Shield the land where they are placed from hail, tornado, storm, and every onslaught of the enemy, so that the produce, ripened for the harvest, may be gathered to your honor by those who put their trust in the holy cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you forever and ever.

All: Amen.

They are sprinkled with holy water.

16. BLESSING OF A BONFIRE

on the Vigil of the Birthday of St. John the Baptist

conferred by the clergy outside of church

In the Church's veneration of her saints the cult of John the Baptist had from earliest times and continues to have a most prominent and honored place. John gave testimony of the true light that shines in the darkness, although he proclaimed in utter humility: "He must increase, but I must decrease." And the Master also spoke in highest praise of His precursor: "I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist." Attuned to the words of the Gospel the Christians of former times were filled with love and enthusiasm for this saint, and expressed a justifiable conviviality at the approach of his feastday by lighting a bonfire the night before in front of their churches, in the market-place, on the hilltops, and in the valleys. The custom of St. John bonfires, indicative of a people with unabashed and childlike faith, continues in some places to this day.

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Lord God, almighty Father, the light that never fails and the source of all light, sanctify + this new fire, and grant that after the darkness of this life we may come unsullied to you who are light eternal; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

The fire is sprinkled with holy water; after which the clergy and the people sing the following hymn (for the music see the music supplement):

Hymn: Ut queant laxis

O for your spirit, holy John, to chasten

Lips sin-polluted, fettered tongues to loosen;

So by your children might your deeds of wonder

Meetly be chanted.

Lo! a swift herald, from the skies descending,

Bears to your father promise of your greatness;

How he shall name you, what your future story,

Duly revealing.

Scarcely believing message so transcendent,

Him for a season power of speech forsaketh,

Till, at your wondrous birth, again returneth,

Voice to the voiceless.

You, in your mother's womb all darkly cradled,

Knew your great Monarch, biding in His chamber,

Whence the two parents, through their offspring's merits,

Mysteries uttered.

Praise to the Father, to the Son begotten,

And to the Spirit, equal power possessing,

One God whose glory, through the lapse of ages,

Ever resounding.

P: There was a man sent from God.

All Whose name was John.

Let us pray.

God, who by reason of the birth of blessed John have made this

day praiseworthy, give your people the grace of spiritual joy,

and keep the hearts of your faithful fixed on the way that leads

to everlasting salvation; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

17. BLESSING OF HERBS

on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

{This blessing comes from Germany, and formulas for it are found as early as the tenth century. The blessing of herbs was reserved only to the feast of the Assumption. Herbs had not our restricted English meaning but included all kinds of cultivated and wild flowers, especially those which in some way had a symbolic relation to our Lady. The people brought herbs to church on her feast not only to secure for themselves another blessed object, but also to make of the occasion a harvest festival of thanksgiving to God for His great bounty manifested in the abundant fruits of the earth. The herbs were placed on the altar, and even beneath the altar-cloths, so that from this close contact with the Eucharist they might receive a special consecration, over and above the ordinary sacramental blessing of the Church.}

After the Asperges if it is a Sunday, otherwise immediately before Mass, the priest, standing before the altar and facing the people who hold the herbs and fruits in their hands, says in a clear voice:

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 64

P: To you we owe our hymn of praise, O God, in Sion; to you must vows be fulfilled, you who hear prayers.

All: To you all flesh must come* because of wicked deeds.

P: We are overcome by our sins; * it is you who pardon them.

All: Happy the man you choose, * and bring to dwell in your courts.

P: May we be filled with the good things of your house, * the holy things of your temple.

All: With awe-inspiring deeds of justice you answer us, * O God our Savior,

P: The hope of all the ends of the earth * and of the distant seas.

All: You set the mountains in place by your power, * you who are girt with might;

P: You still the roaring of the seas, * the roaring of their waves and the tumult of the peoples.

All: And the dwellers at the earth's ends are in fear at your marvels; * the farthest east and west you make resound with joy.

P: You have visited the land and watered it; * greatly have you enriched it.

All: God's watercourses are filled; you have prepared the grain. * Thus have you prepared the land:

P: Drenching its furrows, * breaking up its clods,

All: Softening it with showers, * blessing its yield.

P: You have crowned the year with your bounty, * and your paths overflow with a rich harvest;

All: The untilled meadows overflow with it, * and rejoicing clothes the hills.

P: The fields are garmented with flocks and the valleys blanketed with grain. * They shout and sing for joy.

All: Glory be to the Father.

P: As it was in the beginning.

P: The Lord will be gracious.

All: And our land will bring forth its fruit.

P: You water the mountains from the clouds.

All: The earth is replenished from your rains.

P: Giving grass for cattle.

All: And plants for the benefit of man.

P: You bring wheat from the earth.

All: And wine to cheer man's heart.

P: Oil to make his face lustrous.

All: And bread to strengthen his heart.

P: He utters a command and heals their suffering.

All: And snatches them from distressing want.

P: Lord, heed my prayer.

All: And let my cry be heard by you.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Almighty everlasting God, who by your word alone brought into being the heavens, earth, sea, things seen and things unseen, and garnished the earth with plants and trees for the use of man and beast; who appointed each species to bring forth fruit in its kind, not only for the food of living creatures, but for the healing of sick bodies as well; with mind and word we urgently call on you in your great kindness to bless + these various herbs and fruits, thus increasing their natural powers with the newly given grace of your blessing. May they keep away disease and adversity from men and beasts who use them in your name; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.
Let us pray.

God, who through Moses, your servant, directed the children of Israel to carry their sheaves of new grain to the priests for a blessing, to pluck the finest fruits of the orchard, and to make merry before you, the Lord their God; hear our supplications, and shower blessings + in abundance upon us and upon these bundles of new grain, new herbs, and this assortment of produce which we gratefully present to you on this festival, blessing + them in your name. Grant that men, cattle, flocks, and beasts of burden find in them a remedy against sickness, pestilence, sores, injuries, spells, against the fangs of serpents or poisonous creatures. May these blessed objects be a protection against diabolical mockery, cunning, and deception wherever they are kept, carried, or otherwise used. Lastly, through the merits of the blessed Virgin Mary, whose Assumption we are celebrating, may we all, laden with the sheaves of good works, deserve to be taken up to heaven; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.
Let us pray.

God, who on this day raised up to highest heaven the rod of Jesse, the Mother of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, that by her prayers and patronage you might communicate to our mortal nature the fruit of her womb, your very Son; we humbly implore you to help us use these fruits of the soil for our temporal and everlasting welfare, aided by the power of your Son and the prayers of His glorious Mother; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

And may the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit, come upon these creatures and remain always.

All: Amen.

They are sprinkled with holy water and incensed.

18. BLESSING OF SEED AND SEEDLINGS

on the Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Holy Lord and Father, almighty everlasting God, we ask and beseech you to look with merry countenance and fair eyes on these seeds and seedlings. And as you proclaimed to Moses, your servant, in the land of Egypt, saying: "Tell the children of Israel that when they enter the land of promise which I shall give them, they are to offer the first-fruits to the priests, and they shall be blessed"; so too at our request, O Lord, be merciful and pour out the blessing + of your right hand upon these seeds, which you in your benevolence bring forth to sustain life. Let neither drought nor flood destroy them, but keep them unharmed until they reach their full growth and produce an abundant harvest for the service of body and soul. We ask this of you who live and reign in perfect Trinity forever and ever.

All: Amen.
Let us pray.

Almighty everlasting God, sower and tiller of the heavenly word, who cultivate the field of our hearts with heavenly tools, hear our prayers and pour out abundant blessings upon the fields in which these seeds are to be sown. By your protecting hand turn away the fury of the elements, so that this entire fruit may be filled with your blessing, + and may be gathered unharmed and stored up in the granary; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

They are sprinkled with holy water and may be incensed.

ENDNOTES

1. On Nov. 16, 1955, the C.S.R. issued this directive: "Let the local Ordinaries give proper directions so that this blessing may be given at a more convenient time either before or after Easter."

NEXT SECTION: Blessings of persons Previous

Previous Blessings and Other Sacramentals - General Rules

Rituale Romanum Index

Rituale Romanum - Roman Ritual

www.SanctaMissa.org
Tutoriel pour la Messe Tridentine en Latin (Français) | Tutorial on the Tridentine Latin Mass (English)
Online Tutorial for Priests | Rubrics of the 1962 Roman Missal | Learning to Serve at the Altar

Spirituality of the Tridentine Mass | Liturgical Books and Resources | Sacred Music of the Liturgy
From Sacristy to Altar | The Liturgical Year

What's New | Frequently Asked Questions
Letter from the SuperiorSite Dedication | Contact Us | How You Can Help

Copyright © 2010. Canons Regular of St. John Cantius. All Rights Reserved.