Sancta Missa - Rituale Romanum (Roman Ritual) - Blessings of persons



CHAPTER III: BLESSINGS OF PERSONS

1. BLESSING OF AN EXPECTANT MOTHER

at the approach of confinement

{In the Middle Ages it was customary for a pastor to announce from the pulpit on Sundays the names of women whose time of childbirth was close at hand, and to ask the people's prayers for them. But his solicitude did not stop there. He also visited the homes of such women, first said prayers outside the home, and then entered and administered the sacraments and the sacramentals of the Church. Without going quite to these lengths today, an occasional word of instruction about this very fine blessing would encourage some women to present themselves for it.}

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

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: Save your servant.

All: Who trusts in you, my God.

P: Let her find in you, Lord, a tower of strength.

All: In the face of the enemy.

P: Let the enemy have no power over her.

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

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

All: And watch over her from Sion.

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 enable us, your servants, in our profession of the true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the three Persons in the eternal Godhead, and to adore their oneness of nature, their co-equal majesty; grant, we pray, that by steadfastness in that faith this servant of yours, N., may ever be guarded against all adversity; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.
Let us pray.

Lord God, Creator of all things, mighty and awesome, just and forgiving, you alone are good and kind. You saved Israel from all manner of plagues, making our forefathers your chosen people, and hallowing them by the touch of your Spirit. You, by the co- operation of the Holy Spirit, prepared the body and soul of the glorious Virgin Mary to be a worthy dwelling for your Son. You filled John the Baptist with the Holy Spirit, causing him to leap with joy in his mother's womb. Accept the offering of a humble spirit, and grant the heartfelt desire of your servant, N. who pleads for the safety of the child you allowed her to conceive. Guard the life that is yours; defend it from all the craft and spite of the pitiless foe. Let your gentle hand, like that of a skilled physician, aid her delivery, bringing her offspring safe and sound to the light of day. May her child live to be reborn in holy baptism, and continuing always in your service, be found worthy of attaining everlasting life; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

The priest sprinkles the woman with holy water and then adds the following:

Psalm 66

P: May God have pity on us and bless us; * may He let His face shine upon us.

All: So may His way be known upon earth; * among all nations, His salvation.

P: May the peoples praise you, O God; * may all the peoples praise you.

All: May all the nations be glad and exult because you rule the peoples in equity; * you guide the nations on earth.

P: May the peoples praise you, O God; * may all the peoples praise you.

All: The earth has yielded its fruits; * God, our God, has blessed us.

P: May God bless us, * and may all the ends of the earth fear him.

All: Glory be to the Father.

P: As it was in the beginning.

P: Let us bless the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

All: Let us praise and glorify Him forever.

P: God has given His angels charge over you.

All: To guard you in all your paths.

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.

Lord, we beg you to visit this dwelling, and to drive away from it and from this servant of yours, N, all the enemy's wiles. Let your holy angels be appointed here to keep her and her offspring in peace; and let your blessing + ever rest upon her. Save them, almighty God, and grant them your everlasting light; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

May the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit, come on you and your child, and remain with you forever.

All: Amen.

2. BLESSING OF A MOTHER AFTER CHILDBIRTH

{This blessing is often referred to as the churching of women, but the Roman Ritual more appropriately calls it simply the blessing of a woman after childbirth. The practice of "churching a woman" developed out of a related practice in the Old Testament (cf. Lev 12.1-8). According to the Mosaic Law a woman incurred legal uncleanness in childbirth and remained unclean until her legal purification. This view, that a woman incurs some kind of defilement in childbirth, persisted even in Christian times, especially in the East, but in the West too, despite the opposition of Pope Gregory the Great (d. 604). The sufferings of childbirth were looked upon as part of the penalty imposed on Eve and on all her daughters. Yet it must be understood clearly that the Jews did not say there was actually any stain of sin on the mother in consequence of giving birth to a child, but merely a restriction imposed by law. With Christ's coming womankind was elevated and ennobled, and motherhood too was more clearly seen as something honorable, deserving a blessing rather than a purification. The exact time of origin of this sacramental is not known, except that it is very ancient, and dates possibly from the first half of the fourth century.}

1. After giving birth to a child a mother may wish to give thanks to God in church for a safe delivery, and to obtain the Church's blessing. This has long been a devout and praiseworthy practice. The priest, vested in surplice and white stole (assisted by a server who carries the aspersory), goes to the threshold of the church. The woman kneels there, holding a lighted candle.

{The very fact that the priest goes to meet her and escort her into the church is in itself a mark of respect for the mother, and puts one in mind of a bishop who meets a royal personage or anyone of high rank when the latter comes to a cathedral to attend a solemn function. The rest of the rite speaks for itself; but it may be pointed out that psalm 23, which the priest recites over the woman, is a psalm of majesty, praise, and gratitude.}

The priest sprinkles her with holy water, saying:

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

All: Who made heaven and earth.

He then says the following antiphon and psalm 23:

Antiphon: This woman shall receive a blessing from the Lord and mercy from God, her Savior; for she is one of the people who seek the Lord.

Psalm 23

(for this psalm see Rite for Burial of Children)

After psalm 23 the above antiphon is repeated.

{In the "Collectio Rituum," both for Germany and the U. S. A., the antiphon and the psalm are omitted; and according to the same ritual the priest says first "Peace be with you"; then "Come into the temple of God"; and then the "Magnificat." If the priest wishes he may substitute the "Magnificat" for psalm 23.}

2. Then the priest places the end of the stole hanging from his left shoulder in the hand of the woman and leads her into the church, saying:

Come into God's house. Adore the Son of the blessed Virgin Mary, and thank God who has given you the grace of motherhood.

3. The woman kneels before the altar, giving thanks to God for the benefits He has bestowed on her. The priest continues:

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 servant.

All: Who trusts in you, my God.

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

All: And watch over her from Sion.

P: Let the enemy have no power over her.

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

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 means of the blessed Virgin Mary's childbearing has given every Christian mother joy, even in her pains of bringing forth her child; look kindly on this servant of yours who has come in gladness to your holy dwelling to offer her thanks. And grant that after this life, through the merits and prayers of that same blessed Mary, she and her child may be deemed worthy of attaining the happiness of everlasting life; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

The "Collectio Rituum," both for Germany and the U. S. A., provide the following blessing for the child:

Let us pray.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, begotten before time was, yet willing to be an infant within time; who love childhood innocence; who deigned to tenderly embrace and to bless the little ones when they were brought to you; be ready with your dearest blessings for this child as he (she) journeys through life, and let no evil ways corrupt his (her) understanding. May he (she) advance in wisdom and grace with the years, and be enabled ever to please you, who are God, living and reigning with the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, forever and ever.

All: Amen.

4. The priest again sprinkles her with holy water, saying:

May the peace and blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit, come upon you and remain with you forever.

All: Amen.

5. The blessing of a woman after childbirth ought to be given by the pastor, if he is requested to do so. But any priest may impart it in any church or public oratory, in which case he should notify the superior.

3. BLESSING OF A WOMAN AFTER CHILDBIRTH

in a case where the child was stillborn

or died after birth

{The "Collectio Rituum," both of Germany and the U. S., give the following blessing of a mother whose child was stillborn or died after birth.}

The priest meets the woman at the threshold of the church, sprinkles her with holy water, and says:

God's peace be with you. Come into God's house. Adore the Son of the blessed Virgin Mary, and ask God to console and comfort you.

Then he leads her and those who accompany her to the altar. They kneel before the altar; whereas the priest goes up to the altar predella, turns to them, and says the following:

Psalm 120

P: I lift up my eyes toward the mountains; * whence shall help come to me?

All: My help is from the Lord, * who made heaven and earth.

P: May He not suffer your foot to slip; * may He who guards you not slumber;

All: Indeed He neither slumbers nor sleeps, * the guardian of Israel.

P: The Lord is your guardian; * the Lord is your shade; He is beside you at your right hand.

All: The sun shall not harm you by day, * nor the moon by night.

P: The Lord will guard you from all evil; * He will guard your life.

All: The Lord will guard your coming and your going, * both now and forever.

P: Glory be to the Father.

All: As it was in the beginning.

After the psalm the priest continues:

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: 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, lover of holy purity, who chose in your wisdom and goodness to call this woman's child to your heavenly kingdom; be pleased also, O Lord, to show your mercy to this servant of yours, comforting her with your love, helping her to accept bravely your holy will. Thus comforted by the merits of your sacred passion, and aided by the intercession of blessed Mary, ever a Virgin, and of all the saints, may she be united at last with her child for all eternity in the kingdom of heaven. We ask this of you who live and reign forever and ever.

All: Amen.

As he sprinkles her with holy water in the form of a cross, the priest concludes:

May the peace and blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit, come upon you and remain with you forever.

All: Amen.

4. BLESSING OF AN INFANT OR LITTLE CHILD

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

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: Our God is merciful.

All: He is the Lord who watches over little children.

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.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, begotten before time was, yet willing to be an infant within time; who love childhood innocence; who deigned to tenderly embrace and to bless the little ones when they were brought to you; be ready with your dearest blessings for this child (these children) as he (she) (they) journey(s) through life, and let no evil ways corrupt his (her) (their) understanding. May he (she) (they) advance in wisdom and grace with the years, and be enabled ever to please you, who are God, living and reigning with the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, forever and ever.

All: Amen.

Then the priest sprinkles the infant (or infants) with holy water, saying:

May the peace and blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit, come upon you and remain with you forever.

All: Amen.

5. BLESSING OF A CHILD

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, Son of the living God, who said: "Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them. The kingdom of God belongs to such as these," pour out the power of your blessing + on this child, and consider the faith and devotion of the Church and of its parents. Advancing in virtue and wisdom before God and men, may he (she) reach a blessed old age and finally attain everlasting salvation. We ask this of you who live and reign forever and ever.

All: Amen.
Psalm 112

After the psalm the priest continues:

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.

May the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit, come upon you and remain with you forever.

All: Amen.

6. BLESSING OF CHILDREN

when on some special occasion they are assembled in church for this purpose

At the appointed time the children assemble in church under the tutelage of parents or teachers to ensure quiet and order. When they are properly placed, boys and girls separate, the priest approaches and speaks to them very briefly and simply on a suitable topic. Then standing and facing them he says:

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

All: Who made heaven and earth.

After this the following antiphon and psalm are sung (for the music see the music supplement):

Antiphon: Praise, you children of the Lord, * praise the name of the Lord.

Psalm 112

(for this psalm see Rite for Burial of Children)

At the end of the psalm the antiphon is repeated. This psalm and its antiphon may be omitted if the blessing is imparted less solemnly or only to a few. Next the priest says:

P: Let the little children come to me.

All: The kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

P: Their angels.

All: Ever see the face of the heavenly Father.

P: Let the enemy have no power over them.

All: And the son of iniquity be powerless to 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.

Lord Jesus Christ, who embraced the little children when they came or were brought to you, and laying your hands on them blessed them and said: "Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them. The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these; and their angels ever see the face of my Father;" we beg you to look with favor on the innocence of these children here present and on the devotion of their parents, and to bless + them today through our ministry. Let them ever advance in your grace and goodness, the better to know you, love you, fear you, and serve you, and happily reach their blessed destiny. We ask this of you, Savior of the world, who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.

All: Amen.
Let us pray.

We beg you, Lord, through the intercession of the blessed Mary, ever a Virgin, to defend this family of yours from every kind of adversity; and as they offer their hearts to you, protect them in your kindness and mercy from all wiles of the enemy; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.
Let us pray.

God, who by your wondrous providence gave us your holy angels as our guardians, grant that we, your suppliants, may ever be shielded by their protection, and finally enjoy their fellowship in heaven; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

Making the sign of the cross over them, he blesses them, saying:

May God bless you, and may He be the guardian of your hearts and your understanding, the Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit.

All: Amen.

He then sprinkles the children with holy water.

7. BLESSING OF CHILDREN

on Feastdays of the Holy Childhood Association

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.

We implore you, almighty God, to bless + these children, and we ask that you keep them in your love. Strengthen their hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit, sanctify their lives, foster their innocence. Keep their minds intent on good, help them to prosper, give them peace, health, and charity. By your might and protection shield them always from every temptation of men or demons. And in your mercy may they finally attain the happiness and rest of Paradise; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.
Let us pray.

Lord Jesus Christ, who embraced the little children when they came or were brought to you (here the priest extends his hands over them), and laying your hands on them blessed them and said: "Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them. The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these; and their angels ever see the face of my Father;" we beg you to look with favor on the devotion of these boys and girls here present, and let your blessing come on them in fullest measure. Let them ever advance in your grace and goodness, the better to know you, love you, fear you, and serve you, and happily reach their blessed destiny. We ask this of you, Savior of the world, who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.

All: Amen.

May the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit, come upon you, keep and direct you, and remain with you forever.

All: Amen.

They are sprinkled with holy water.

8. BLESSING OF PILGRIMS

before they set out for the holy shrines

In accord with ancient ecclesiastical discipline, pilgrims who are to visit the holy shrines should obtain a letter of recommendation from their Ordinary or pastor before they set out. Having put their affairs in order, they prepare themselves with sacramental confession, assist at Mass and receive holy communion. In this Mass the Collect for pilgrims (pro re gravi) is said. After Mass they kneel before the priest who says the following (for the music see the music supplement):

Antiphon: May the almighty and merciful Lord lead you in the way of peace and prosperity. May the Angel Raphael be your companion on the journey and bring you back to your homes in peace, health, and happiness.

Then the Canticle of Zachary is said; and after the canticle the above antiphon is repeated. Then the priest continues:

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 them find in you, Lord, a fortified tower.

All: In the face of the enemy.

P: Let the enemy have no power over them.

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

P: May the Lord be praised at all times.

All: May God, our helper, grant us a happy journey.

P: Lord, shows us your ways.

All: And lead us along your paths.

P: Oh, that our life be bent.

All: On keeping your precepts.

P: For the crooked ways will be made straight.

All: And the rough places plain.

P: God has given His angels charge over you.

All: To guard you in all your undertakings.

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 led the children of Israel dry-shod through the sea, and showed the way to the three Magi by the guidance of a star; grant these pilgrims, we pray, a happy journey and peaceful days, so that, with your holy angel as a guide, they may safely reach their destination and finally come to the haven of everlasting salvation.

God, who led your servant, Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldeans, and kept him safe in all his wanderings; may it please you, we pray, also to watch over these servants of yours. Be to them, Lord, a help in their preparations, comfort on the way, shade in the heat, shelter in the rain and cold, a carriage in tiredness, a shield in adversity, a staff in insecurity, a haven in shipwreck; so that under your guidance they may happily reach their destination, and finally return safe to their homes.

Lord, we beg you to hear our request that you guide the steps of your servants along the path of well-being that comes from you, and that in the midst of this fickle world they may always live under your protection.

Grant, we pray, O almighty God, that your family of pilgrims find a safe route; and heeding the admonitions of blessed John, the precursor, come finally to Him whom John foretold, your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Hear, Lord, our prayers, and kindly accompany your servants on their journey; and as you are present everywhere lend them your aid at all times, so that with you as their shield they will be defended from all dangers and pay you their homage of gratitude; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

May the peace and blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit, come upon you and remain with you forever.

All: Amen.

They are sprinkled with holy water.

If there is only one pilgrim the prayers are said in the singular; but if the priest who bestows the blessing is a member of the pilgrimage they are said in the plural.

9. BLESSING OF PILGRIMS

on their return

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

All: Who made heaven and earth.

Next the following antiphon and psalm are sung (for the music see the music supplement):

Antiphon: See, thus is the man blessed who fears the Lord.

Psalm 127

(for this psalm see Rite for Marriage within Mass)

After the psalm the above antiphon is repeated. Then the priest continues:

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: Blessed are they who come in the name of the Lord.

All: Blessed be you by the Lord who made heaven and earth.

P: Look with favor, Lord, on your servants and their works.

All: And keep them in the way of your precepts.

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.

We beg you, Lord, be appeased, and lavish on your servants pardon and peace, so that being cleansed of all their transgressions they may serve you with tranquil hearts.

Almighty everlasting God, the ruler of our lives and destinies, grant to your servants continual and abundant peace, so that those whom you have brought back safely to their various occupations may bask in the security of your protection.

God, the support of the lowly, you who console us by the love of our brethren; bestow your grace on our brotherhood, so that we may always see your presence in those in whom you live by your grace; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

May the peace and blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit, come upon you and remain with you forever.

All: Amen.

They are sprinkled with holy water.

PRAYER OF POPE PAUL VI FOR PRISONERS

{This prayer was composed by Pope Paul VI for the inmates of Rome's Regina Coeli prison, which he visited on April 9, 1964. It deserves a place in the Ritual; and we are grateful to the N.C.W.C. News Service for its permission to print it.}

Lord, they tell me I must pray; but how can I pray when I am so unhappy? How can I speak to you in the conditions in which I find myself? I am sad; I am angry. Sometimes I am desperate. I would like to curse rather than pray. I suffer deeply because everyone is against me and criticizes me because I am here, away from my own family and from my activities. I am without peace, and how can I pray, O Lord?

I know you were good, you were wise, you were innocent. Yet they slandered you, they dishonored you, they tried you, they beat you, they crucified you, they put you to death? But why? Where is justice? And you were able to forgive those who treated you so unjustly and so cruelly. You were able to pray for them. Indeed, they tell me that you allowed yourself to be put to death in that manner in order to save your executioners, to save all us sinful men. And also to save me?

If this is so, Lord, it means that one may be good at heart even though the condemnation of the courts of men weighs on one's shoulders. I too, Lord, feel at the bottom of my heart that I am better than others would believe. I know what justice is, what honesty is, what honor is, and what goodness is. Before you, these thoughts stir in me. Do you see them? Do you see how disgusted I am with my miseries? Do you see that I would like to cry out and weep? Do you understand me, Lord? Is this my prayer?

Yes, this is my prayer. From the depths of my bitterness I raise my voice to you. Do not reject it. You at least, who have suffered as I have, more than I have, you at least, Lord, listen to me. I have so many things to ask of you. Give me, Lord, peace of heart. Give me a tranquil conscience, a new conscience capable of good thoughts.

Indeed, Lord, to you I say it. If I have been remiss, forgive me. We all have need of forgiveness and mercy. I am praying to you for myself. And then, Lord, I pray to you for my loved ones, who are still so dear to me. Lord, assist them. Lord, console them. Lord, tell them to remember me and to love me still. I have so much need to know that somebody is still thinking of me and loves me. And also on these companions in misfortune and affliction, together here in this prison, Lord, have mercy. Mercy on everyone. Yes, also on those who make me suffer, on all. We are all men of this unhappy world. But we are, Lord, your creatures, your likeness, your brothers, O Christ. Have pity on us.

To our poor voice we add the sweet and innocent voice of the Madonna, of the most blessed Mary, who is your Mother, and who is for us also a Mother of intercession and consolation. Lord, give us your peace; give us hope. Amen.

11. BLESSING OF SICK PILGRIMS

The priest, vested in surplice and white stole, places the end of the stole on the head of the sick person, and reads the following passage from the Gospel. If he blesses more than one he holds the stole above them with his right hand.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

P: A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.

All: Glory be to you, O Lord.

Matthew 13.44-52

At that time Jesus said to His disciples: "The kingdom of heaven reminds me of a treasure buried in the field; as soon as a person discovers it, he hides it again, and off he goes in his joy and sells all his possessions and buys that field.

"Again, the kingdom of heaven reminds me of a merchant in quest of beautiful pearls; as soon as he discovers one pearl of great value, off he goes and promptly sells all his possessions and buys it.

"Again, the kingdom of heaven reminds me of a dragnet thrown into the sea and taking in fish of every description; when it is filled, the crew haul it on the beach and settle down to sorting what is usable into receptacles, and throwing away what is worthless. So it will be at the end of the world. The angels will go forth and separate the sinners from among the saints and consign them to the blazing furnace. There it is that weeping and gnashing of teeth will really be heard.

"Do you understand all these lessons?" "Yes," they replied. "Therefore," He continued, "every teacher initiated in the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who produces from his store new things and old."

After the Gospel he blesses the sick person, saying:

May the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit, come upon you and remain with you forever.

All: Amen.

Then he presents the end of the stole to the sick to be kissed, and sprinkles him with holy water, saying:

May God sprinkle you with the dew of His grace and bring you to everlasting life.

All: Amen.

12. BLESSING OF A SICK ADULT

The priest on entering the sick-room says:

P: God's peace be in this home.

All: And in all who live here.

Then he goes up to the sick person and continues:

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

All: Who made heaven and earth.

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.

Lord Jesus Christ, as I, in all humility, enter this home, let there enter with me your peace and your mercy. Let all wiles of the devil be driven far from here, and let your angels of peace take over and put down all wicked strife. Teach us, O Lord, to recognize the majesty of your holy name, and bless what we are about to do; you who are holy, you who are kind, you who abide with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever and ever.

All: Amen.
Let us pray.

We entreat you, Lord, to look with favor on your servant who is weak and failing, and revive the soul you have created. Chastened by suffering may he (she) know that he (she) has been saved by your healing; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.
Let us pray.

Merciful Lord, consoler of all who believe in you, we appeal to your boundless compassion that at my humble visit you will also visit this servant of yours, lying on his (her) bed of pain, as you visited the mother-in-law of Simon Peter. Graciously stand by him (her), Lord, so that he (she) may recover his (her) lost strength, and join with your Church in returning thanks to you, who are God, living and reigning forever and ever.

All: Amen.

Then he holds his hand outstretched over the sick person and says:

May our Lord Jesus Christ be with you to guard you, within you to preserve you, before you to lead you, behind you to protect you, above you to bless you; He who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever and ever.

All: Amen.

May the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit, come upon you and remain with you forever.

All: Amen.

He sprinkles the sick person with holy water.

13. BLESSING OF SICK CHILDREN

If children who are ill are old enough to receive the sacrament of anointing of the sick, the same prayers and ceremonies are used as given in the chapter dealing with the visitation and care of the sick, depending on circumstances of time and illness. But for younger children the following can be used:

On entering the room of the sick child the priest says:

P: God's peace be in this home.

All: And in all who live here.

Next he sprinkles the sick child, the bed, and the room without saying anything. Then he says psalm 112; and after the psalm he continues:

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: Our God is merciful.

All: He is the Lord who watches over little children.

P: Let the little children come to me.

All: The kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

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, by whose power all things grow to maturity, and once mature retain their strength, reach out your right hand to this boy (girl) who is afflicted at this tender age. Let him (her) regain health, grow up to manhood (womanhood), and serve you in gratitude and fidelity all the days of his (her) life; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.
Let us pray.

Merciful God and Father, our unalloyed comfort, who, having the interests of your creatures at heart, are inclined in your goodness to bestow the grace of healing not only on the soul but on the body as well; be pleased to raise up this sick child from his (her) bed of suffering, and to return him (her) in full health to your Church and to his (her) parents. May he (she) then throughout the days of his (her) life, as he (she) advances in favor and knowledge in your sight and that of men, serve you in righteousness and holiness, and render you due thanks for your goodness; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.
Let us pray.

God, who in a marvelous way have disposed the ministries of angels and of men, mercifully grant that the life on earth of this boy (girl) may be under the protection of those who minister to you in heaven; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

After this prayer the priest puts his right hand on the head of the child and says:

They shall lay their hands upon the sick and all will be well with them. May Jesus, Son of Mary, Lord and Savior of the world, through the merits and intercession of His holy apostles Peter and Paul and all His saints, show you favor and mercy.

If he wishes, the priest may add the following passage from the Gospel, depending on the child's condition and the desire of the parents:

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

P: + The beginning of the holy Gospel according to St. John.

All: Glory be to you, O Lord.

As the priest says "The beginning," etc., he signs himself on the brow, mouth, and breast in the usual way; and signs the sick child in the same way, if the child cannot do so himself.

For this passage from the Gospel see John 1.1-14.

Lastly he blesses the child, saying:

May the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit, come upon you and remain with you forever.

All: Amen.

He sprinkles him (her) (them) with holy water.

If there are several sick children in the room the prayers given above are said in the plural.

14. RITE FOR IMPARTING THE PAPAL BLESSING TO THE PEOPLE

The rite to be used by those priests to whom this faculty has been granted by the Holy See

(According to a decree of the Congregation of Sacred Rites, March 12, 1940)

1. The people are to be informed of the day, the time, and the church where the papal blessing will be given. When they are assembled in church a short and edifying instruction should be delivered to them in order to arouse a spirit of devotion and compunction. After this the priest, vested in surplice and white stole, kneels at the altar and implores God's help as follows (he is not assisted by anyone):

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

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: Lord, save your people.

All: And bless your inheritance.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Then he stands and says this oration:

Let us pray.

Almighty and merciful God, grant us your aid from your holy place, and graciously hear the prayers of these people who humbly ask for pardon of their sins, and look for your blessing and your grace. Kindly reach out your right hand over them, and pour out your blessing in fullest measure, that fortified with your gifts they may come to everlasting life and happiness; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

2. He then goes to the corner of the altar-steps at the epistle side, and blesses the people with one sign of the cross, saying in a clear voice:

May the almighty God bless you, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit.

All: Amen.

3. Priests who enjoy the faculty of imparting the papal blessing are obliged to observe the prescribed form, and may use this faculty only in the church designated. They may not use it on the same day or in the same city or place on and in which a bishop imparts it.

15. THE PAPAL BLESSING

With Plenary Indulgence at the end of a Sermon, Mission, or Retreat

(Approved by the Congregation of Sacred Rites, May 11, 1911)

If the Brief states that the papal blessing with plenary indulgence at the end of a sermon is to be given with a crucifix- -i.e., according to the rite prescribed here--a single sign of the cross is made with a crucifix, using the form:

May the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit, come upon you and remain with you forever.

All: Amen.

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