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Catholic Prayer: Book of Blessings: Blessing of Saint Joseph's Table

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1679 On the solemnity of Saint Joseph (March 19) it is the custom in some places to bless bread, pastries, and other food and give a large portion of it to the poor.

1680 The faithful should be encouraged to participate in the celebration of Mass on the solemnity of Saint Joseph.

1681 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.

Prayer:

I. ORDER OF BLESSING

INTRODUCTORY RITES

1682 When the community has 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.

1683 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 has called us to be saints, be with you all.

And all reply: And also with you.

1684 A lay minister greets those present in the following words: Praised be God, who gives us saints as models and examples. Blessed be God for ever. R. Blessed be God for ever.

1685 In the following or similar words, the minister prepares those present for the blessing. Today we honor the memory of Saint Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary and patron of the universal Church. We rejoice at this table, which is a sign of God's generous blessings and of our call to serve the poor and hungry. We pray that through the intercession of Saint Joseph we too might join the saints at the banquet of the Lord in the heavenly kingdom.

READING OF THE WORD OF GOD

1686 A reader, another person present, or the minister reads a text of sacred Scripture. Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the holy gospel according to Matthew:

1:18-23 Joseph did as the angel commanded him. Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:

"Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means "God is with us."

1687 Or: Matthew 13:54-58--Is this not the carpenter's son?

1688 As circumstances suggest, one of the following responsorial psalms may be sung, or some other suitable song.

R. The Son of David will live for ever.

Psalm 89 The favors of the LORD I will sing forever; through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness. R.

For you have said, "My kindness is established forever"; in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness: "I have made a covenant with my chosen one. I have sworn to David my servant: R.

"Forever will I confirm your posterity and establish your throne for all generations." R.

The heavens proclaim your wonders, 0 LORD, and your faithfulness, in the assembly of the holy ones. For who in the skies can rank with the LORD? Who is like the LORD among the sons of God? R.

Psalm 112:1-2, 3-4, 5-7, 8-9 R. (v. 1) Happy are they who fear the Lord.

1689 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.

INTERCESSIONS

1690 The intercessions are then said. The minister introduces them and an assisting minister or one of those present announces the intentions. From the following those best suited to the occasion may be used or adapted, or other intentions that apply to the particular circumstances may be composed.

The minister says: Let us call upon the name of the Lord through the intercession of Saint Joseph.

R. Lord, you are our hope and our strength.

Assisting minister: That we who have listened to the word of God may do his will, let us pray to the Lord. R.

Assisting minister: That we who have experienced doubt and fear may be helped in times of difficulty, let us pray to the Lord. R.

Assisting minister: That we may hunger for justice and mercy, we pray to the Lord. R.

Assisting minister: That we who seek God's way may complete our journey to God's kingdom, let us pray to the Lord. R.

Assisting minister: That we who follow the example of Saint Joseph, patron of the universal Church, may strive always to build up the body of Christ, let us pray to the Lord. R.

1691 Or:

LITANY OF SAINT JOSEPH

Lord, have mercy Lord, have mercy

Christ, have mercy Christ, have mercy

Lord, have mercy Lord, have mercy

God our Father in heaven, have mercy on us God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us

Holy Mary, pray for us

Saint Joseph, pray for us

Noble son of the House of David, pray for us Light of patriarchs, pray for us Husband of the Mother of God, pray for us Guardian of the Virgin, pray for us Foster father of the Son of God, pray for us Faithful guardian of Christ, pray for us Head of the holy family, pray for us Joseph, chaste and just, pray for us Joseph, prudent and brave, pray for us Joseph, obedient and loyal, pray for us Pattern of patience, pray for us Lover of poverty, pray for us Model of workers, pray for us Example to parents, pray for us Guardian of virgins, pray for us Pillar of family life, pray for us Comfort of the troubled, pray for us Hope of the sick, pray for us Patron of the dying, pray for us Terror of evil spirits, pray for us Protector of the Church, pray for us

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us

1692 After the intercessions the minister, in the following or similar words, invites all present to sing or say the Lord's Prayer. Let us pray to the Father in the words our Savior gave us:

All: Our Father . . .

PRAYER OF BLESSING

1693 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.

All-provident God, the good things that grace this table remind us of your many good gifts.

Bless this food, and may the prayers of Saint Joseph, who provided bread for your Son and food for the poor, sustain us and all our brothers and sisters on our journey towards your heavenly kingdom.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

CONCLUDING RITE

1694 A minister who is a priest or deacon concludes the rite by saying:

Lord, you have given us the saints as our intercessors in heaven. May the prayers of Saint Joseph always help us to do your will and live in your love.

Grant this through Christ our Lord.

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.

1695 A lay minister concludes the rite by signing himself or herself with the sign of the cross and saying: May almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, bless and protect us. R. Amen.

1696 It is preferable to end the celebration with a suitable song.

II. SHORTER RITE

1697 All make the sign of the cross as the minister says: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All reply: Who made heaven and earth.

1698 One of those present or the minister reads a text of sacred Scripture, for example: Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the holy gospel according to Matthew:

1:18-23 Joseph did as the angel commanded him. Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:

"Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means "God is with us."

1699 Or: Matthew 13:54-58--Is this not the carpenter's son?

1700 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.

All-provident God, the good things that grace this table remind us of your many good gifts.

Bless this food, and may the prayers of Saint Joseph, who provided bread for your Son and food for the poor, sustain us and all our brothers and sisters on our journey towards your heavenly kingdom.

We ask 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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