Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $37,039 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Catholic Prayer: Book of Blessings: Blessing of Food for the First Meal of Easter

Description:

1701 The custom of blessing food for Easter arose from the discipline of fasting throughout Lent and the special Easter fast during the Easter Triduum. Easter was the first day when meat, eggs, and other foods could again be eaten. Although not of obligation, the special fast during the Triduum may still be observed as well as the tradition of blessing food for the first meal of Easter.

1702 According to custom, food may be blessed before or after the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday(see endnote 8) or on Easter morning for consumption at the first meal of Easter, when fasting is ended and the Church is filled with joy.

1703 The blessing may take place in the church or another suitable place.

1704 The food which is to be blessed may be placed on a table or held by those who bring it.

1705 The shorter rite may appropriately be used after the Easter Vigil.

1706 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.

Endnote: 8. Festive customs and traditions associated with this day on account of the former practice of anticipating the celebration of Easter on Holy Saturday should be reserved for Easter night and the day that follows (Circular Letter Concerning the Preparation and Celebration of the Easter Feasts, no. 76).

Prayer:

I. ORDER OF BLESSING

INTRODUCTORY RITES

1707 When the community has gathered, a suitable song may be sung.

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.

1708 The minister greets those present in the following or other suitable words, taken mainly from sacred Scripture.

A) Before the Easter Vigil For our sake Christ became obedient, accepting even death, death on a cross. Therefore God raised him on high and gave him the name above all other names. Blessed be God for ever.

And all reply: Blessed be God for ever.

B) After the Easter Vigil Christ is risen. Alleluia.

And all reply: He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

1709 In the following or similar words, the minister prepares those present for the blessing. Throughout Lent we have been preparing for the resurrection of the Lord by prayer, almsgiving, and fasting. Our lenten fasting is a reminder of our hunger and thirst for holiness which is satisfied only by Christ who feeds and nourishes us by his word and sacraments. When we gather at our first meal of Easter may this food be a sign for us of that heavenly banquet to which the Lord calls us.

READING OF THE WORD OF GOD

1710 One of those present, or the minister, then reads a text of sacred Scripture. Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the book of Deuteronomy:

16:1-8 The passover of the Lord. Observe the month of Abib by keeping the Passover of the LORD, your God, since it was in the month of Abib that he brought you by night out of Egypt. You shall offer the Passover sacrifice from your flock or your herd to the LORD, your God, in the place which he chooses as the dwelling place of his name. You shall not eat leavened bread with it. For seven days you shall eat with it only unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, that you may remember as long as you live the day of your departure from the land of Egypt; for in frightened haste you left the land of Egypt. Nothing leavened may be found in all your territory for seven days, and none of the meat which you sacrificed on the evening of the first day shall be kept overnight for the next day.

You may not sacrifice the Passover in any of the communities which the LORD, your God, gives you; only at the place which he chooses as the dwelling place of his name, and in the evening at sunset, on the anniversary of your departure from Egypt, shall you sacrifice the Passover. You shall cook and eat it at the place the LORD, your God, chooses; then in the morning you may return to your tents. For six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh there shall be a solemn meeting in honor of the LORD, your God; on that day you shall not do any sort of work.

1711 Or: Isaiah 55:1-11--Come all you who are thirsty. Luke 24:13-35--They knew Christ in the breaking of the bread. John 6:1-14--Multiplication of the loaves.

1712 As circumstances suggest, one of the following responsorial psalms may be sung, or some other suitable song.

R. My soul is thirsting for God, the living God.

Psalms 42 and 43 Athirst is my soul for God, the living God. When shall I go and behold the face of God? R.

Those times I recall, now that I pour out my soul within me, When I went with the throng and led them in procession to the house of God, Amid loud cries of joy and thanksgiving, with the multitude keeping festival. R.

Send forth your light and your fidelity; they shall lead me on And bring me to your holy mountain, to your dwelling-place. R.

Then will I go in to the altar of God, the God of my gladness and joy; Then will I give you thanks upon the harp, O God, my God! R.

Psalm 104:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12, 13-14, 24, 35 R. (v. 1) Bless the Lord, 0 my soul.

1713 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

1714 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: The Son of God who invites us to the Paschal feast stands ready to help. Let us call upon him in our need.

R. Lord, prepare us for the feast of life.

Assisting minister: That Easter may find us cleansed of sin and ready to live anew our Christian faith, we pray to the Lord. R.

Assisting minister: That the bread we share may be a reminder of the bread of life we share in the eucharist, we pray to the Lord. R.

Assisting minister: That we may be ready to give from our table to those who hunger and thirst, we pray to the Lord. R.

Assisting minister: That we may one day enjoy the banquet of the Lord in the heavenly kingdom, we pray to the Lord. R.

1715 After the intercessions the minister, in the following or similar words, invites all present to sing or say the Lord's Prayer. Christ taught us to pray for our daily bread and so we dare to say:

All: Our Father . . .

PRAYER OF BLESSING

1716 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.

God of glory, the eyes of all turn to you as we celebrate Christ's victory over sin and death.

Bless us and this food of our first Easter meal. May we who gather at the Lord's table continue to celebrate the joy of his resurrection and be admitted finally to his heavenly banquet.

Grant this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

CONCLUDING RITE

1717 A minister who is a priest or deacon concludes the rite by saying: May Christ always nourish you and strengthen you in faith and love, now and for ever. 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.

1718 A lay minister concludes the rite by signing himself or herself with the sign of the cross and saying: May Christ nourish us and strengthen us in faith and love now and for ever. R.Amen.

1719 It is preferable to end the celebration with a suitable song.

II. SHORTER RITE

1720 The minister then greets those present in the following or other suitable words, taken mainly from sacred Scripture.

A) Before the Easter Vigil For our sake Christ became obedient, accepting even death, death on a cross. Therefore God raised him on high and gave him the name above all other names. Blessed be God for ever.

And all reply: Blessed be God for ever.

B) After the Easter Vigil Christ is risen. Alleluia.

And all reply: He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

1721 One of those present or the minister reads a text of sacred Scripture, for example: Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the book of Deuteronomy:

16:1-8 The passover of the Lord. Observe the month of Abib by keeping the Passover of the LORD, your God, since it was in the month of Abib that he brought you by night out of Egypt. You shall offer the Passover sacrifice from your flock or your herd to the LORD, your God, in the place which he. chooses as the dwelling place of his name. You shall not eat leavened bread with it. For seven days you shall eat with it only unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, that you may remember as long as you live the day of your departure from the land of Egypt; for in frightened haste you left the land of Egypt. Nothing leavened may be found in all your territory for seven days, and none of the meat which you sacrificed on the evening of the first day shall be kept overnight for the next day.

You may not sacrifice the Passover in any of the communities which the LORD, your God, gives you; only at the place which he chooses as the dwelling place of his name, and in the evening at sunset, on the anniversary of your departure from Egypt, shall you sacrifice the Passover. You shall cook and eat it at the place the LORD, your God, chooses; then in the morning you may return to your tents. For six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh there shall be a solemn meeting in honor of the LORD, your God; on that day you shall not do any sort of work.

1722 Or: Isaiah 55:1-11--Come all you who are thirsty. Luke 24:13-35--They knew Christ in the breaking of the bread.

1723 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.

God of glory, the eyes of all turn to you as we celebrate Christ's victory over sin and death.

Bless us and this food of our first Easter meal. May we who gather at the Lord's table continue to celebrate the joy of his resurrection and be admitted finally to his heavenly banquet.

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
Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Pope is not the problem 18 hours ago
Do not confuse sacramental discipline and Catholic doctrine. 19 hours ago
Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal October 22
Has the Vatican finally discovered how to avoid inaccurate English translations? October 22
The Synod: It's a Wrap! October 21

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6