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Catholic Prayer: Rite for the Blessing of and Enrolment in the Scapular of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel

Description:

This is the correct form of blessing and enrolment for the Brown Scapular. The rite has two forms, the second being the alternative shorter form.

I – Preliminaries

1. The blessing of, and enrollment in, the Scapular of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel should preferably take place within a community celebration.

2. The enrollment of the Scapular implies affiliation to the Carmelite Family. Priests and deacons have the faculties for blessing Scapulars; other authorized persons may enroll the faithful.

3. The traditional form of the Scapular must be used for the blessing and enrollment. It may then be replaced by the appropriate medal.

4. The blessing of and enrollment in the Scapular takes place according to the rites and prayers hereunder. The usual form includes the opening rite, a reading of the Word of God and the intercessions, the prayer of blessing and the enrollment in the scapular the closing rite. In this manner the meaning of the Scapular in the lives of the faithful who receive it is fully conveyed.

5. It is necessary that in both formulas, the spiritual meaning of the graces attached to the Scapular of our Lady of Mount Carmel be expressed, as also the obligations assumed through this sign of devotion to the holy Virgin.

Prayer:

II – Rite for the Blessing of and Enrollment in the Scapular

Opening rite

6. The officiant welcomes the faithful gathered before the main altar or before a picture of our Lady.

Opening hymn or a moment of silence.

Min. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. R/. Amen.

Min. The Lord be with you. R/. And also with you.

Or:

Min. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ born of the Virgin Mary, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. R/. And also with you.

7. The officiant invites those present to take part in the rite of blessing of and enrollment in the Scapular with the following or other similar words, which explain the nature of this celebration:

When Jesus walked on earth, whoever even touched the hem of his garment became whole. We praise the Lord, because in his Church he continues to use the humblest of means to show us his infinite mercy. We too can use these means to glorify the Lord, to express our desire to serve him and to renew our life-long commitment of fidelity made at our baptism.

This Scapular of our Lady of Mount Carmel is a sign of the motherly love of the Virgin Mary, which reminds us of her care for the members of the Carmelite family, especially in moments of great need. It is a love which invites love in return.

This Scapular is a sign of communion with the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel dedicated to the service of our Lady for the good of the whole Church. With this Scapular you express the desire to take part in the spirit and life of the Order.

The Scapular is a mirror of the humility and purity of Mary: through her simplicity she invites us to live modestly and in purity. By wearing the Scapular day and night, it becomes a sign of our constant prayer and of our special dedication to the love and service of the Virgin Mary.

By wearing the Scapular, you renew your baptismal vow to put on our Lord Jesus Christ. In Mary, your hope of salvation will be safeguarded, because in her the God of Life has made his abode.

The Word of God

8. One of those present reads a text from Sacred Scripture. The texts quoted below refer particularly to the mystery of salvation or to devotion to the holy Virgin. One of the following texts may be chosen: a) From the Old Testament

  1. Pr 8: 17-21. I love those who love me.
  2. Is 61: 1-2, 10. He has clothed me with a mantle of justice.
  3. 2 K 2: 7-13. The mantle of Elijah fell on Elisha.
  4. Ba 5: 1-5. Clothe yourselves with the beauty of God.
  5. Ezk 16: 8-14. Your beauty was perfect.
b) From the New Testament
  1. Rm 12: 1-2. This is your spiritual worship.
  2. Ga 4: 4-7. God sent his Son born of a woman.
  3. Ep 6: 10-17. Take strength from the Lord.
  4. Mk 5: 25-34. The woman touched the garment of Jesus and was cured.
  5. Lk 2: 4-8. Mary wrapped her Firstborn in swaddling clothes.
9. A short exhortation.

After the reading, the officiant addresses those present briefly to explain, in the light of the Word of God, the meaning of the celebration, the graces and obligations attached to the Scapular.

Intercessions

10. There follows the prayers of intercession. At this point a few intentions are prayed for. The most suitable prayers may be chosen or other prayers which are more suitable for the occasion may be added. The officiant invites all to pray:

Dear sisters and brothers, we enjoy the patronage of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God. In her womb the Word of God put on our mortality by taking on our flesh. Let us pray the Father that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we may reflect Jesus, our brother, in our lives, and so let us say: R/. Lord, grant that we may be clothed in Jesus Christ.
Holy Father, who clothed your Son with our human flesh in order that we might participate in the divine life, — grant that, by the intercession of the Virgin Mary, his perfect disciple, we may be clothed in his divinity.

Holy Father, who wished that your Son may become like us in all things but sin, so that, by the following in his footsteps, we might conform to his image in all things, — grant that, by the intercession of the Virgin Mary, we may imitate Christ and be pleasing to you in all our works.

Holy Father, who invites us to the banquet of grace, clothed in bridal attire in order to reveal your love for us, — by the intercession of the Virgin Mary, clothe us with her active charity and her loving service.

Holy Father, who have clothed Mary with the sun, and through her have crushed the head of the serpent, — by the intercession of the Virgin, grant that we may be able to overcome the snares of the evil one in our life and in the world we live in.

Holy Father, who chose Mary to be the daughter of the New Testament, — by the intercession of Mary, Virgin of the New Heart, purify our hearts and strengthen our faith.

Holy Father, who have looked upon the lowliness of your Handmaid, and through her lips have proclaimed the strength of your arm, — by the intercession of Mary, grant that we may be prophets of your Kingdom, that we may proclaim your mercy to every generation.

Holy Father, you gave your Son a mother who wrapped him in swaddling clothes, — by the intercession of the Virgin Mother, grant that we may love the poor and the marginalized, and that we may be united to them in building a world which is more just and fraternal.

Holy Father, who have wrapped us with the mantle of justice and holiness, — by the intercession of the Virgin Mary, sanctify us in Christ and make us generous collaborators in the work of the salvation of this world.

Holy Father, who have blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ, — by the intercession of the Virgin Mary, grant that we may happily pass from death to life.

Prayer of the blessing

11. The priest or deacon, with arms outstretched, says this prayer of blessing.

Min. O God, author and perfection of holiness, who call those who were born of water and the Holy Spirit to the fullness of the Christian life, look with kindness on those who are about to receive devoutly the Scapular of Carmel which they will wear faithfully as the sign of their commitment to the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. Grant that in surrendering to the love of the most tender Virgin, they may conform themselves to the image of Jesus Christ your Son, and having run the course of this life happily, may they enter into the joy of your house. Through Christ our Lord. R/. Amen
The priest or deacon then sprinkles holy water.

Enrollment in the Scapular

12. The officiant then places the Scapular on each faithful who has requested it, and says:

Receive this Scapular. (Through this Scapular you become a member of the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel.) Full of faith in the love of such a great Mother, dedicate yourself to imitating her and to a special relationship with her. Wear this sign as a reminder of the presence of Mary in your daily commitment to be clothed in Jesus Christ and to manifest him in your life for the good of the Church and the whole of humanity, and to the glory of the Most Blessed Trinity. R/. Amen.
13. If deemed more appropriate, when there are many persons to be enrolled in the Scapular, the officiant may say the form of enrollment once only. Then all together answer Amen and approach the officiant to receive the Scapular.

14. After enrollment, the officiant addresses all in these words:

Having received the Scapular, you have been received into the family of Carmel, consecrated in a special way to the imitation and service of the Virgin Mother of God, that you may live for Christ and his Church in the contemplative and apostolic spirit of the Order of Carmel. And that you may be able to follow this ideal perfectly, by the faculties entrusted to me, I admit you to participate in all the spiritual benefits of the Order of Carmel.
15. After explaining briefly and clearly the commitment and obligations involved in being admitted institutionally to the Carmelite family, the officiant closes the rite with a solemn blessing.

Closing rite

16. The priest or deacon stretches his hands over those present.

Min. May the Father pour on you his merciful love given to us in Christ Jesus, son of the Virgin Mary. R/. Amen.

Min. May Jesus Christ grant you to partake of the love of the Father in the motherly warmth of the Virgin of Carmel, that you become doers of every good. R/. Amen.

Min. The Holy Spirit has inspired you to place yourselves under the mantle of Mary, may he make you apostles in the way of justice and peace. R/. Amen.

Min. And may the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit descend upon you and remain with your forever. R/. Amen.

Or:

Min. May almighty God bless us, keep us from all evil and lead us to eternal life. R/. Amen.

17. The celebration may end with an appropriate hymn to Our Lady, for instance, Flos Carmeli, Salve Regina, Sub tuum praesidium.

Alternative Rite for the Blessing of and Enrolment in the Scapular

Opening rite

18. The officiant, standing before a picture of Our Lady, faces those who wish to receive the Scapular, inviting them to take part in the celebration worthily.

Min. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. R/. Amen.

Min. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ born of the Virgin Mary, the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. R/. And also with you.

19. The officiant explains briefly the meaning of the blessing of and enrollment in the Scapular.

The Word of God

20. A short reading of the Word of God may be proclaimed, as for instance: a) From the Old Testament

  1. Pr 8: 17-21. I love those who love me.
  2. Is 61: 1-2. He has clothed me with a mantle of justice.
  3. 2 K 2: 7-13. The mantle of Elijah fell on Elisha.
  4. Ba 5: 1-5. Clothe yourselves with the beauty of God.
  5. Ezk 16: 8-14. Your beauty was perfect.
b) From the New Testament
  1. Rm 12: 1-2. This is your spiritual worship.
  2. Ga 4: 4-7. God sent his Son born of a woman.
  3. Ep 6: 10-17. Take strength from the Lord.
  4. Mk 5: 25-34. The woman touched the garment of Jesus and was cured.
  5. Lk 2: 4-8. Mary wrapped her Firstborn in swaddling clothes.
Intercessions

21. Let us pray to God our Father, by the intercession of the Virgin Mary: Lord, hear us.

That those who wear the Scapular may be clothed in Christ by the grace of the Holy Spirit: Lord, hear us.

That those who wear the Scapular may live their baptismal vow to be clothed in Christ: Lord, hear us.

That those who wear the Scapular may be living members of the family of Carmel by their prayers, sacrifices and good works: Lord, hear us.

That those who wear the Scapular may be an extension of the love which Jesus had for his Mother: Lord, hear us.

That those who wear the Scapular may clothe themselves with the virtues of the most pure Virgin, listen to the Word of God and live it daily: Lord, hear us.

That those who wear the Scapular, by the intercession of Mary, may be enlightened in contemplation, joyous in fraternity and zealous in the service of others: Lord, hear us.

That those who wear the Scapular may lead their lives in such a way that they will always be ready to enter into the assembly of the saints, wearing bridal clothes, with Mary most holy: Lord, hear us.

Prayer of blessing

22. The priest or deacon with outstretched hands prays thus:

Holy Father, you have wished that your only Begotten Son Jesus Christ, should take our human flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary by the working of the Holy Spirit; grant to this son (daughter) of yours who is about to wear devoutly the Scapular of the family of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel the grace of being clothed in Jesus the Lord in all the circumstances of this life and thus to attain eternal glory. Through Christ our Lord. R/. Amen.
The priest or deacon sprinkles holy water.

Enrollment in the Scapular

23. The officiant places the Scapular saying:

Receive this Scapular by which you enter the family of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel; wear it as a sign of the motherly protection of the Virgin and of your pledge to imitate and serve her. May the Mother of God help you to be clothed in Christ. May He abide in you to the glory of the Trinity and to dedicate yourself to the Church for the good of your brothers and sisters. R/. Amen.
24. The officiant announces the affiliation to the Carmelite family in the following or similar words:

By the faculties invested in me I admit you to participate in all the spiritual benefits of the Order of Carmel.
Closing rite

25. The priest or deacon uses the short form of blessing:

May the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit descend upon you and remain with you forever. R/. Amen.

Or:

Min. May the Lord bless us, keep us from every evil and lead to eternal life. R/. Amen.

26. And thus ends the rite.

Prayer Source:
Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, The: Catechesis and Ritual by North American Provincials of the Carmelite Orders, Community of Teresian Carmelites, Worcester, MA, 2000
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