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Catholic Prayer: Book of Blessings: Blessings of Catechumens

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III. BLESSINGS OF CATECHUMENS (See endnote 20)

INTRODUCTION

519 The blessings of the catechumens are a sign of God's love and of the Church's tender care. They are bestowed on the catechumens so that, even though they do not as yet have the grace of the sacraments, they may still receive from the Church courage, joy, and peace as they proceed along the difficult journey they have begun (se endnote 21).

520 The blessings may be given by a priest, a deacon, or a qualified catechist appointed by the bishop. The blessings are usually given at the end of a celebration of the word; they may also be given at the end of a meeting for catechesis. When there is some special need, the blessings may be given privately to individual catechumens (see endnote 22).

Prayer:

PRAYERS OF BLESSING

521 The minister, with hands outstretched over the catechumens, says one of the following prayers. After the prayer of blessing, if this can be done conveniently, the catechumens come before the minister, who lays hands on them individually. Then the catechumens leave (see endnote 23).

Let us pray.

A) Lord, form these catechumens by the mysteries of the faith, that they may be brought to rebirth in baptism and be counted among the members of your Church.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

B) Father, through your holy prophets you proclaimed to all who draw near you, "Wash and be cleansed," and through Christ you have granted us rebirth in the Spirit.

Bless these your servants as they earnestly prepare for baptism.

Fulfill your promise: sanctify them in preparation for your gifts, that they may come to be reborn as your children and enter the community of your Church.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

C) God of power, look upon these your servants as they deepen their understanding of the Gospel.

Grant that they may come to know and love you and always heed your will with receptive minds and generous hearts.

Teach them through this time of preparation and enfold them within your Church, so that they may share your holy mysteries both on earth and in heaven.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

D) God our Father, you sent your only Son, Jesus Christ, to free the world from falsehood.

Give to your catechumens fullness of understanding, unwavering faith, and a firm grasp of your truth.

Let them grow even stronger, that they may receive in due time the new birth of baptism that gives pardon of sins, and join with us in praising your name.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

E) Almighty and eternal God, you dwell on high yet look on the lowly; to bring us your gift of salvation you sent Jesus your Son, our Lord and God.

Look kindly on these catechumens, who bow before you in worship; prepare them for their rebirth in baptism, the forgiveness of their sins, and the garment of incorruptible life.

Enfold them in your holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, that they may join with us in giving glory to your name.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

F) Lord of all, through your only begotten Son you cast down Satan and broke the chains that held us captive.

We thank you for these catechumens whom you have called.

Strengthen them in faith, that they may know you, the one true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

Keep them clean of heart and make them grow in virtue, that they may be worthy to receive baptism and enter into the holy mysteries.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

G) Lord God, you desire that all be saved and come to the knowledge of truth.

Enliven with faith those who are preparing for baptism; bring them into the fold of your Church, there to receive the gift of eternal life.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

H) God of power and Father of our Savior Jesus Christ, look kindly upon these your servants.

Drive from their minds all taint of false worship and stamp your law and commands on their hearts.

Lead them to full knowledge of the truth and prepare them to be the temple of the Holy Spirit through their rebirth in baptism.

Grant this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

I) Lord, look with love on your servants, who commit themselves to your name and bow before you in worship.

Help them to accomplish what is good; arouse their hearts, that they may always remember your works and your commands and eagerly embrace all that is yours.

Grant this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

Endnotes: 20. The blessings of catechumens are taken from the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (hereafter RCIA), Part I, Period of the Catechumenate. 21. RCIA, no. 95. 22. RCIA, no. 96. 23. RCIA, no. 97.

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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