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Catholic Prayer: Roman Ritual: Easter Blessings of Bread

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Description:

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.

There are two options for the Blessing of Bread.

Prayer:

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.

Prayer Source: Roman Ritual: Volume III, The Blessings by Philip T. Weller, The Bruce Publishing Company, 1952