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Catholic Prayer: Blessing of Candles

Description:

On February 2, the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord, also known as Candlemas, the priest blesses the candles before the Mass. He sings or recites five prayers of blessing, two of which are given here in English translation. This prayer is from the old Latin rite.

Prayer:

O holy Lord, almighty Father, eternal God, thou hast created all things from nothing; thou hast commanded the bees to produce this liquid of wax which has been made into a perfect candle; thou hast on this day fulfilled the petitions of the just Simeon: We humbly implore thee through the invocation of thy holy name and through the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, whose feast we devoutly celebrate today, also through the prayers of all thy saints: Deign to bless and sanctify these candles for human use, for the welfare of body and soul both on land and on water. These thy servants desire to carry them in their hands while they praise thee with their hymns: Hear their voices graciously from thy holy Heaven and from the throne of thy majesty; be merciful to all who cry to thee, whom thou hast redeemed by the precious blood of thy Son, who lives and reigns with thee, God for ever and ever. Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ, true light that enlightens every man who comes into this world, bestow thy blessing upon these candles, and sanctify them with the light of thy grace. As these tapers burn with visible fire and dispel the darkness of night, so may our hearts with the help of thy grace be enlightened by the invisible fire of the splendor of the Holy Ghost, and may be free from all blindness of sin. Clarify the eyes of our minds that we may see what is pleasing to thee and conducive to our salvation. After the dark perils of this life let us be worthy to reach the eternal light. Through thee, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, who in perfect Trinity livest and reignest, God, for ever and ever. Amen.1

Endnote 1. Missale Romanum, In Purificatione Beatae Mariae Virginis February 2, English translation by the author.

Prayer Source: Holyday Book, The by Francis X. Weiser, S.J., Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc., New York, 1956
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