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Catholic Prayer: Book of Blessings: Blessing of Food or Drink or Other Elements Connected with Devotion

Description:

1781 On the occasion of a feast or season of the liturgical year or in honor of Mary or other saints, it is customary in some places to celebrate a rite for the blessing of food or drink (for example, bread, water, wine, oil) or of other articles that the faithful devoutly present to be blessed. In such a celebration parish priests (pastors) are to ensure that the faithful have a correct understanding of the true meaning of the blessing. In his comments or homily the celebrant is as far as possible to take into account traditions and biographical information on the saints that may serve to clarify the origin and meaning of the special blessing celebrated in honor of a saint. There must always be respect for historical accuracy.

1782 Whenever a priest or a deacon carries out this kind of celebration in a church, a large attendance and the active participation of the faithful are desirable.

1783 When several kinds of food or drink or other articles are to be blessed, there is to be no duplication of rites, but everything is to be blessed in a single rite, in which the proper blessing formulary is used for each particular object.

1784 While maintaining the structure and chief elements of the rite, the celebrant should adapt the celebration to the circumstances of the place and the people involved.

1785 Celebration of these blessings within Mass, by use of the rite in nos. 1799-1804, is permitted only on feasts of Mary or the saints in places where there is a popular tradition for such a celebration and the faithful customarily attend Mass on these days. The blessing may be celebrated within Mass only once on any day.

Prayer:

I. ORDER OF BLESSING OUTSIDE MASS

INTRODUCTORY RITES

1786 When the community has gathered, a suitable song may be sung. After the singing, the celebrant 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.

1787 The celebrant greets those present in the following or other suitable words, taken mainly from sacred Scripture. May God, who has chosen us to be saints, be with you all.

All make the following or some other suitable reply. And also with you.

1788 In the following or similar words, the celebrant prepares those present for the blessing. God makes known his mighty power and his abounding goodness to all the ends of the earth; but he also directs his Church to bless the simplest and most commonplace things. He does so in order that all who devoutly make use of material things (while invoking the name of Mary/of the saints) may be drawn to the world that is not seen and may give glory to God, who alone performs the wonders we call miracles, but who is wonderful also in his saints.

READING OF THE WORD OF GOD

1789 A reader, another person present, or the celebrant reads a text of sacred Scripture, taken either from the Lectionary for Mass or from those given here. Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the holy gospel according to Matthew:

7:7-11 Ask and you will receive. Jesus said to the crowds: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asks for a fish? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him."

1790 Or:

A) Blessing of water Exodus 17:1-7--Give us water to drink. 2 Kings 2:19-22--I have purified this water. Never again shall death or miscarriage spring from it.

B) Blessing of bread 1 Kings 19:3b-8--Strengthened by that food, he walked forty days and forty nights. Wisdom 16:20-21, 24-26--That your children whom you loved might learn. John 6:27-35--You should not be working for perishable food.

C) Blessing of other foods Genesis 1:27-31a--He has given you all the trees with seed-bearing fruit; this shall be your food. Genesis 9:1-3--Every living and crawling thing shall provide food for you. Exodus 12:1-4, 6-8, 11--You shall eat the lamb like this: it is the Passover in honor of the Lord. Luke 11:9-13--Ask and it will be given to you.

D) Blessing of oil, wine, salt Sirach 39:30-41 (Greek, 39:25-35)--Chief of all the needs of human life. Matthew 5:13-16--You are the salt of the earth. Mark 6:7-13--They anointed the sick with oil and worked many cures. Luke 10:30-37--He dressed his wounds, pouring in oil and wine. John 2:1-11--You have kept the best wine till now.

E) Blessing of flowers (for example, roses, lilies) Sirach 24:1a, 17-31 (Greek, 24:1a, 13-22)--Like a rosebush in Jericho. 2 Corinthians 2:14-17--We are an aroma of Christ for God's sake. Matthew 6:25-34--Learn a lesson from the way the wild flowers grow.

F) Blessing of candles Matthew 4:13-17--The people have seen a great light. Luke 2:27-33--A revealing light to the Gentiles. John 1:6-10--The real light which gives light to everyone. Ephesians 5:8-10--Live as children of light.

1791 As circumstances suggest, one of the following responsorial psalms may be sung or said, or some other suitable song.

R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8 O LORD, our Lord, how glorious is your name over all the earth! You have exalted your majesty above the heavens. Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings you have fashioned praise because of your foes, to silence the hostile and the vengeful. When I behold your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you set in place-- R.

What is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man that you should care for him? You have made him little less than the angels, and crown him with glory and honor. You have given him rule over the works of your hands, R.

Putting all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yes, and the beasts of the field, The birds of the air, the fishes of the sea, and whatever swims the paths of the seas. R.

Psalm 23:1-3, 4, 5, 6 R. (v. 5) You spread a table before me, 0 Lord.

Psalm 104:10-12, 13-15, 16-18, 19-21, 22-23 R. (v. 24) How. many are your works, 0 Lord!

Psalm 147:7-8, 9-11, 12-13, 14-16 R. (v. 1) 0 praise the Lord! How good to sing praise to our God.

1792 In the homily the celebrant explains both the biblical text and the meaning of the rite.

INTERCESSIONS

1793 As circumstances suggest, the prayer of blessing may be preceded by the intercessions. Intercessions that are best suited to the feast or liturgical season may be composed. The celebrant introduces them and an assisting minister or one of those present announces the intentions. The intentions are followed immediately by the prayer of blessing, no. 1795.

1794 When there are no intercessions, the celebrant, before the prayer of blessing, says: Let us pray.

As circumstances suggest, all may then pray for a moment in silence before the prayer of blessing.

PRAYER OF BLESSING

1795 With hands outstretched, the celebrant says the prayer of blessing.

A) Blessing of food Blessed are you, Lord God, who have showered all creatures with your blessings. Hear the prayers of these your servants: that whenever they eat this food (bread) (in honor of the blessed Virgin Mary or Saint N.) (in the celebration of this festival) they may be blessed with your heavenly blessing; that striving always for what is holy, they may continually grow in charity.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

B) Blessing of wine Blessed are you, Lord God, who fill the hungry and satisfy the thirsty, and give us wine to gladden our hearts. Grant that all who drink this wine (in remembrance of the blessed Virgin Mary or Saint N.) may rejoice in you and be invited to sit at your heavenly banquet for ever and ever.

R. Amen.

C) Blessing of flowers Lord God, creator of all that is beautiful, the splendor of these flowers reflects your glory. As we gather today (on this feast of ( ) of Mary [or Saint N.]), we ask you to bless + these flowers, so that the faithful who use them to adorn their homes (this church) may praise you always for the beauty with which you clothed your creation.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

D) Blessing of candles God of power, who enlightens the world and dispels the darkness of ignorance and sin, (as we remember the Virgin Mother of your Son [or Saint N.]) let the light of these candles illumine our hearts and minds, that they may reflect always the splendor of Christ, who is Lord, for ever and ever.

R. Amen.

E) Blessing of oil God of compassion, mercy, and love, in the midst of the pain and suffering of the world your Son came among us to heal our infirmities and soothe our wounds. May all who use this oil (in honor of Saint N.) be blessed with health of mind and body.

Grant this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

F) Blessing of other materials Lord God, you beautify your Church with the rich variety of the virtues of your saints. Show your kindness to these your servants, who with devotion wish to use this (these) sign (signs) of your goodness (in remembrance and in honor of the blessed Virgin Mary or Saint N.). Grant that they may be filled with the love of your commandments and that, sustained by the helps they need in the present life, they may progress toward the-goal of life everlasting.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

G) Blessing of several things at once God of power and goodness, source of all grace and crown of all the saints, through the intercession of Mary (or Saint N.) grant that as we use (the name of the things to be blessed) brought here for your blessing, we may be eager to imitate him/her whose life we celebrate, and that our reward in heaven may be the company of Mary (or Saint N.), whose protection is our comfort on earth.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

1796 If this is the local custom, the objects blessed may now be sprinkled with holy water.

CONCLUDING RITE

1797 With hands outstretched over the faithful, the celebrant concludes the rite by saying: May God look with favor on your devotion and in his goodness give you the help you need. R. Amen.

May he give you serenity in your life and shower you with his blessings. R. Amen.

May he rule over you with his strength and tender care in this life, so that he may raise you up to the reward of happiness in heaven. 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.

1798 It is preferable to end the celebration with a suitable song.

II. ORDER OF BLESSING WITHIN MASS ON A FEAST DAY

1799 After the readings, the celebrant in the homily explains both the biblical texts and the meaning of celebrating a blessing in honor of Mary or of a saint.

1800 The general intercessions follow, either in the form usual at Mass or in the form given here. The celebrant concludes the general intercessions with the pertinent prayer of blessing, chosen from those indicated here and in no. 1795. The celebrant introduces the intercessions and an assisting minister or one of those present announces the intentions. From the following intentions those best suited to the occasion may be used or adapted, or other intentions that apply to the particular circumstances may be composed.

The celebrant says: Through the intercession of the blessed Virgin Mary (or Saint N.) let us praise God and call upon him by saying:

R. Lord, you are glorious in your saints.

Or: R. Lord, hear our prayer.

Assisting minister: Most merciful Father, you have marvelously made known your almighty power through the life of the blessed Virgin Mary (or Saint N.); grant that by the power of our baptismal grace we too may become more and more a new creation. (For this we pray:) R.

Assisting minister: Through your holy servants you have given us a perception of your mercy; grant that the virtues we admire in them may become part of our own lives. (For this we pray:) R.

Assisting minister: In your saints you give to all a living proof of the holiness of your Church; grant that we may always be intent on promoting your glory and assisting the salvation of our brothers and sisters. (For this we pray:) R.

Assisting minister: You have made your saints our faithful intercessors; grant that, being delivered from present evils, we may come to share with them the inheritance of the life to come. (For this we pray:) R.

The celebrant continues: God of power and goodness, source of all grace and crown of all the saints, through the intercession of Mary (or Saint N.) grant that as we use (the name of the things to be blessed) brought here for your blessing, we may be eager to imitate him/her whose life we celebrate, and that our reward in heaven may be the company of Mary (or Saint N.), whose protection is our comfort on earth.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

1801 Or one of the prayers of blessing provided in no. 1795 may also be used.

1802 At the end of Mass it is appropriate to use the solemn blessing provided in the Roman Missal for celebrations of the blessed Virgin Mary.

Born of the blessed Virgin Mary, the Son of God has redeemed all of us. May he enrich you with his blessings. R. Amen.

You received the author of life through Mary. May you always rejoice in her loving care. R. Amen.

You have come to rejoice at Mary's feast. May you be filled with the joys of the Spirit and the gifts of your eternal home. 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.

1803 Or one of the prayers over the people for celebrations of the saints may be used.

God our Father, may all Christian people exult in your saints, the glorious members of Christ, your Son. Give us fellowship with them and unending joy in your kingdom.

We ask this in the name of Jesus the 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.

1804 Or:

Lord, you have given us many friends in heaven. Through their prayers we are confident that you will watch over us always and fill our hearts with 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.

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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