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Catholic Prayer: Book of Blessings: Blessing on the Occasion of a Birthday

Description:

323 It is always appropriate to give thanks to God, but especially so on the occasion of a birthday. The birthday celebration provides an opportunity for acknowledging and giving thanks to God as the author and giver of life.

324 A birthday is also an appropriate occasion for children to express love and thanks to their parents who have shared the gift of life and love with them.

325 These orders may be used by a priest or a deacon, and also by a layperson, who follows the rites and prayers designated for a lay minister, or by a family member.

Prayer:

A. ORDER OF BLESSING

INTRODUCTORY RITES

326 When all have gathered a suitable song may be sung. After the singing, the minister says: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

All make the sign of the cross and reply: Amen.

327 A minister who is a priest or deacon greets those present in the following or other suitable words, taken mainly from sacred Scripture. May God who loves you and fills your life with joy, be with you always.

And all reply: And also with you.

328 A lay minister greets those present in the following words: Praise be to God, who loves us and fills our lives with joy, now and for ever. R. Amen.

329 In the following or similar words, the minister prepares those present for the blessing. Each year as we celebrate another birthday we recall the gift of life which we have received from God. Today we give thanks for our parents and all those who have loved, nourished, and taught us of God's love.

READING OF THE WORD OF GOD

330 A reader, another person present, or the minister reads a text of sacred Scripture. Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the apostle Paul to the Philippians:

1:3-11 Thanks be to God. I give thanks to my God at every remembrance of you, praying always with joy in my every prayer for all of you, because of your partnership for the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right that I should think this way about all of you, because I hold you in my heart, you who are all partners with me in grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, to discern what is of value, so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

331 Or: Hosea 11:1-4--Israel was a child. 1 Thessalonians 3:9-11--May you grow in holiness. 1 Peter 1:3-5--New birth in Christ. Matthew 5:1-12--The beatitudes. Luke 2:21-32--Presentation of Jesus in the temple.

332 As circumstances suggest, one of the following responsorial psalms may be sung, or some other suitable song.

R. Teach us to number our days aright.

Psalm 90 Before the mountains were begotten and the earth and the world were brought forth, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. R.

You turn man back to dust, saying, "Return, 0 children of men." For a thousand years in your sight are as yesterday, now that it is past, or as a watch of the night. R.

You make an end of them in their sleep; the next morning they are like the changing grass, Which at dawn springs up anew, but by evening wilts and fades. R.

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart. Return, 0 LORD! How long? Have pity on your servants! R.

Fill us at daybreak with your kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days. Make us glad, for the days when you afflicted us, for the years when we saw evil. Let your work be seen by your servants and your glory by their children. R.

Psalm 128:1-2, 3-4, 5-6 R. (v. 5) The Lord bless you all the days of your life.

Psalm 103:1-2, 13-14, 15-16, 17-18 R. (v. 1) Bless the Lord, 0 my soul.

333 As circumstances suggest, the minister may give those present a brief explanation of the biblical text, so that they may understand through faith the meaning of the celebration.

LITANY

334 The litany is then said. The minister introduces it and an assisting minister or one of those present announces the invocations. From the following those best suited to the occasion may be used or adapted, or other invocations that apply to the particular circumstances may be composed.

The minister says: Let us praise the Lord God of all creation.

R. Blessed be God for ever.

Assisting minister: Blessed be God, who has shaped us from dust and breathed life into us. R.

Assisting minister: Blessed be God, who in his great love has sent his only Son to save us. R.

Assisting minister: Blessed be God, who guides our feet along right paths. R.

Assisting minister: Blessed be God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R.

335 After the litany the minister, in the following or similar words, invites all present to sing or say the Lord's Prayer. Let us pray to God, the author and giver of life, in the words his Son taught us:

All: Our Father . . .

PRAYER OF BLESSING

336 A minister who is a priest or deacon says the prayer of blessing with hands outstretched over the one who is to be blessed; a lay minister says the prayer with hands joined.

A) For adults

God of all creation, we offer you grateful praise for the gift of life. Hear the prayers of N., your servant, who recalls today the day of his/her birth and rejoices in your gifts of life and love, family and friends.

Bless him/her with your presence and surround him/her with your love that he/she may enjoy many happy years, all of them pleasing to you.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

B) For children

Loving God, you created all the people of the world and you know each of us by name. We thank you for N., who today celebrates his/her birthday. Bless him/her with your love and friendship that he/she may grow in wisdom, knowledge, and grace. May he/she love his/her family always and be faithful to his/her friends.

Grant this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

As circumstances suggest, the minister in silence may sprinkle the person with holy water.

CONCLUDING RITE

337 A minister who is a priest or deacon concludes the rite by saying: May the Lord bless you and keep you. R. Amen.

May his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. R. Amen.

May he look upon you with kindness and give you his peace. R. Amen.

Then he blesses all present. And may almighty God bless you all, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit. R. Amen.

338 A lay minister concludes the rite by signing himself or herself with the sign of the cross and saying: May the Lord bless us and keep us. R. Amen.

May his face shine upon us and be gracious to us. R. Amen.

May he look upon us with kindness and give us his peace. R. Amen.

339 It is preferable to end the celebration with a suitable song.

B. SHORTER RITE

340 All make the sign of the cross as the minister says: Blessed be the name of the Lord.

All reply: Now and for ever.

341 One of those present or the minister reads a text of sacred Scripture, for example: Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the apostle Paul to the Philippians:

1:3-11 Thanks be to God. I give thanks to my God at every remembrance of you, praying always with joy in my every prayer for all of you, because of your partnership for the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right that I should think this way about all of you, because I hold you in my heart, you who are all partners with me in grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, to discern what is of value, so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

342 Or: 1 Thessalonians 3:9-11--May you grow in holiness. Matthew 5:1-12--The beatitudes.

343 A minister who is a priest or deacon says the prayer of blessing with hands outstretched; a lay minister says the prayer with hands joined.

A) For adults

God of all creation, we offer you grateful praise for the gift of life. Hear the prayers of N., your servant, who recalls today the day of his/her birth and rejoices in your gifts of life and love, family and friends.

Bless him/her with your presence and surround him/her with your love that he/she may enjoy many happy years, all of them pleasing to you.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

B) For children

Loving God, you created all the people of the world and you know each of us by name. We thank you for N., who today celebrates his/her birthday. Bless him/her with your love and friendship that he/she may grow in wisdom, knowledge, and grace. May he/she love his/her family always and be faithful to his/her friends.

Grant this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

Prayer Source: Book of Blessings by Prepared by International Commission on English in the Liturgy A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops' Conferences, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1989
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