WITH THE BLESSING OF THE CHURCH
Translated by Most Rev. J. H. Schlarman
Bishop of Peoria
Copyright, National Catholic Rural Life Conference,
4625 Beaver Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50310-2199
Bless us, O Lord,
And these Thy gifts - - -
From Thy bounty - - - Amen.
A scholar of note and an apostle of Christ's Mystical Body has
done a great service in presenting this careful and inspiring
translation of many of the prayers in the Roman Ritual. The
Church, a loving Mother, gives us blessings for the fields, for
seeds and growing plants, for the fully- matured fruits and for
animals, and readied victual. Oh thrice blessed be the work of
the farmer who uses the sacramentals of the Church while, in
close partnership with God, he produces both the essential
matter of the Sacrifice and the elements that nourish the body.
RT. REV. MSGR. JOSEPH P. MORRISON
Past President Liturgical Conference
Highland Park, Illinois
Christ Jesus, the Divine Head, gave us the necessary "big" sacraments. His
mystical Body, the Church, gave us the useful "little" sacraments, the
sacramentals. "Whatever you shall bind upon earth shall be bound in
heaven" (Matth. 16, 19). The sacramentals are means a) of receiving actual
grace to do good and avoid evil, b) of protection of soul and body, and c)
the remission of venial sin by virtue of the prayers of the Church and the
good dispositions of those who use them.
By her blessing the Church a) tears an object out of the claws of the
hellish dragon--"the enemy who sows cockle among the wheat" (Matth. 13,
25), b) purifies it, and c) gives it a supernatural dignity by
replenishing it with the sanctifying and strengthening power of the Savior
of all men and all things.
The early Christians used nothing, drank not even a glass of water nor ate
a morsel of bread without signing it with the sign of the cross, the sign
of redemption and sanctification, so as not to be contaminated, even in a
small measure, by that curse which burdens all creation since the arch-sin
Building on the sacred practice of those men and women who sat at the very
fountains of her life, the Church began to open her treasure-trove to
"instaurare OMNIA in Christo, to incorporate ALL things into Christ"; to
bless and hallow all things that are for the use of man: home and fields,
barns and shops, animals and tools, things on the waters, on the earth and
in the sky. By doing so, the Church establishes a divine contact between
the holy Eucharist and these objects, transforming them, making them fit
instruments for the daily living, working, toiling and suffering of her
children, thereby aiding and sanctifying the redeemed "branches" with the
eternal splendor and the sweet fragrance of Christ, the "Vine," and giving
them a ray and foretaste of the joy and peace of that true home where God
Himself is their Food and Drink; where "God will wipe away every tear from
their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning,
nor crying, nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away"
(Apoc. 21, 4).
Would to God we moderns possessed more of the living faith of the early
Christians! But we have become so worldly, so secularized. Ever since the
days when stupid men bowed in adoration to a carnal "goddess of reason"
whom impure hands raised to the high altar of Notre Dame at Paris after
tainted feet had stepped on the heavenly gift of Faith, a terrible divorce
has taken place between altar and home, between man's worship of God at
the altar and man's service of God in everyday life. A "double-track"
living has developed, one with Christ, once a week--often lasting no more
than thirty minutes--, and another without Christ throughout the week.
Millions of so-called Christians have cut away the "ora" from the
Christian duty of "labora." In olden days pagan houses were turned into
Christian homes, but during the past hundred and fifty years--in an ever
increasing measure--Christian homes have again become pagan houses.
Because we have failed to preserve that divine contact between altar and
home, the home has become just a house for people to eat and sleep in, and
the paths leading from such an empty home out of the fields and stable, to
office and shop, have been deprived of that fecundating hovering over of
"the Spirit of the Lord who filleth the whole earth."
Blessed fourth day of August, 1903, that was found worthy to witness the
elevation to the Chair of Peter of one of the greatest popes in the
Church's history, the sainted Pius X. Perhaps by the year 2046 the
Christian world will more fully appreciate than at present the
providential mission of that illustrious pope whom many already call "Pius
the Great." The eleven years of his pontificate were dedicated primarily
to the re-union of altar and home, to the fruitful union of the "Vine and
branches," by "incorporating all things into Christ."
Forty-three years have elapsed since the golden and silver keys of Peter
were taken over by Pius, priest and lawgiver. A sower went out to sow
good seed, and as he sowed, some fell by the wayside and was trodden down
. . . and other some fell on good ground and yielded fruit . . . in Europe .
. . and in America. A great awakening is taking place in every corner of the
world. Men and women are beginning to understand the weight of Pius'
message that "the active participation in the most holy mysteries (the
sacraments and sacramentals), and in the public and solemn prayers of the
Church, is the primary and indispensable source of the true Christian
spirit" (Motu proprio, Nov. 22, 1903). The 1) primary and 2) indispensable
source of 3) the true Christian spirit!
The liturgical movement, or, as Father Thomas Carroll rightly calls it,
the "sacramental apostolate," inaugurated by Pius the Great and, since
1910, marching across the globe, is the most transforming, the most
unifying as well as the most Romeward movement in all the history of the
world. At the same time it is the safest, most direct and most inviting
bridge for God's children--now sitting in schism and heresy--to reach the
fertile shores of Christ, "the Way, the Truth and the Life."
Is it not true that, without this "sacramental apostolate," this movement
towards the primary and indispensable source of the true Christian spirit,
we might not have such healthy manifestations in the Church as "Catholic
Action" and the "Catholic Rural Life Conference"? Are not both of them
natural organic developments growing like branches from the stem of the
sacramental apostolate and receiving from it life, spirit and stability?
The "Catholic Action" program of Pius XI is the logical extension of the
"sacramental apostolate" of Pius X.
It is encouraging indeed to see our Catholic Actionists and the promoters
of the Catholic Rural Life work reach out consciously and with increasing
efforts for the "primary and indispensable source of the true Christian
spirit," the liturgy of the Church. Certain it is that the more these
God-sent leaders will anchor their work in the living and life-imparting
liturgy, the stronger and more penetrating Catholic Action and Catholic
Rural Life work will be.
The birth of this most welcome and timely booklet WITH THE BLESSING OF THE
CHURCH is a new proof of the great appreciation which the promoters of the
"Catholic Rural Life Conference" have for the all-transforming and
sanctifying power of the sacred liturgy. The clarion call of the tenth
Pius: "To incorporate ALL things in Christ" has found a new echo in the
appearance of this booklet.
The thirty-two blessings lifted from the treasure-trove of the Roman
Ritual for the purpose of raising such objects as: home and hearth, stable
and animals, bees and meadows, mill and grain, orchards and vineyard,
bread and butter, bacon and eggs, herbs and fruits to a supernatural
realm, are a precious mosaic over which could be written: RURAL LIFE TO BE
INCORPORATED INTO CHRIST!
Catholic America will be grateful to the "Catholic Rural Life Conference"
for this valuable gift brought about by the inspiration of its promoters
and the painstaking efforts of the learned Bishop of Peoria, the Most
Reverend Joseph H. Schlarman whose deep understanding of the "sacramental
apostolate," as well as the needs and possibilities of the "rural life
apostolate" has given us the excellent translation of these well selected
blessings from the Church's Ritual which, unfortunately, is to many
priests and people a sealed book.
When this booklet reaches our Catholic people they will know that our good
Mother Church has a special blessing for all those things that surround
and accompany them in their daily life and work. In case there be no
priest available to pronounce the blessing, let the father (or another
member of the family) read the respective blessing, for, by virtue of the
indelible mark bestowed on him through the sacraments of baptism and
confirmation, he shares to a certain degree in the eternal Highpriesthood
of Christ, so that, by reason of his union with the divine Highpriest, the
power-laden blessing of the Church uttered by him, will surely bestow on
the earthly thing a heavenly significance.
Go forth, then, carrier of thirty-two of the precious "little" sacraments,
given us by the mystical Body of Christ! May the Spirit of the divine Head
fructify thy journey and work for the earthly and eternal happiness of His
Martin B. Hellriegel
Saint Louis, Missouri
It is with special affection that the Church blesses the labor of the
farmer and vineyardist because it is they who supply her with bread, wine,
oil, linen, and wax for the holy sacrifice. She prays especially for these
occupations since no other is so dependent on the increase that God alone
The Church accompanies the farmer on his way through the year, and at
every turn she teaches him an appropriate prayer. She teaches him to pray
in all the duties of his calling, whether these are the duties that recur
periodically or such as arise on special occasions or in an emergency.
Thus, the blessings of the stables, of the stock when it returns from
pasture, of the horses and other draft animals, of animals after foaling
or lambing, of bees at the first swarming, may be used annually at the
proper time. So, too, the prayers over the seed when it germinates in the
fall or the spring, over the trees when they are in bloom, over the barns
after the harvest has been brought in, should be said at the appropriate
The blessings of animals and stables can also be used on stated days; for
instance, on the first Sunday of Advent or on Easter. The prayers against
diseases and noxious animals are to be used only when the occasion demands
it. The blessings of a farm, of a new house or barn, of a spring or well,
of feed and fodder, suggest the time when they may be said. If no special
prayer can be found for some occasion. the general blessing "for all
things" can be used.
J. H. Schlarman
Bishop of Peoria
Blessing of a Farm
This prayer may be said to obtain God's blessing on a farm with its
buildings or for the farmhouse alone.
Bless, O Lord, Almighty God, this house (or, this farm). May
health and purity, goodness and meekness, and every virtue reign
here. May all those who dwell here be filled with faithfulness
to Thy law and with thanksgiving to God, the Father, the Son,
and the Holy Spirit. May this blessing remain on this house (or,
this farm) and all who dwell here. Through Christ our Lord.
Blessing of the Cornerstone of a New Building
O God, with whom every good thing has its beginning, and through
whom it is improved and increased: grant, we beseech Thee to us
who cry to Thee, that this work, which we are beginning for the
praise of Thy name, may be happily brought to completion through
the neverfailing gift of Thy fatherly wisdom. Through Christ our
Blessing of a New House
O heavenly Father, Almighty God, we humbly beseech Thee to bless
and sanctify this house and all who dwell therein and everything
else in it, and do Thou vouchsafe to fill it with all good
things; grant to them, O Lord, the abundance of heavenly
blessings and from the richness of the earth every substance
necessary for life, and finally direct their desires to the
fruits of Thy mercy. At our entrance, therefore, deign to bless
and sanctify this house as Thou didst deign to bless the house
of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob; and may the angels of Thy
light, dwelling within the walk of this house, protect it and
those who dwell therein. Through Christ our Lord. Amen
Blessing of a Water Supply
O Lord, Almighty God, who hast given us an ample supply of
water, led off by pipes from this source, grant that, by Thy
assistance and blessing and our cooperation, every diabolical
attack and confusion may be kept off and that this water supply
may always be pure and uncontaminated. Through Christ our Lord.
Blessing of the Hearth
Lord, God, Almighty Father, eternal Light and Creator of all
lights, bless this new fire. Grant that after the darkness of
this world, we may come with pure hearts to Thee, the
never-falling Light. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Blessing of a Stable
O Lord, Almighty God, who didst decree that Thy only- begotten
Son, our Redeemer, should be born in a stable and laid in a
manger between an ox and an ass, bless, we beseech Thee, this
stable and preserve it from every deceit and snare of the devil
that horses and cattle within it may be healthy and secure from
And if "the ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's
crib," grant that Thy servants, whom Thou hast made to Thy own
image and hast placed only a little lower than the angels may
not be like unreasoning animals; that they may not be like the
horse and the mule that have no understanding, but that they may
acknowledge Thee, the one true God, the Author of all good, and
that Thy servants may persevere in Thy service. Grant that Thy
servants may always give thanks to Thee for the gifts they have
received from Thee; and make them worthy to receive ever greater
benefits. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Blessing of Horses and other Draft Animals
The animals praise and glorify God inasmuch as they assist man
and serve him. In their own way they assist man in attaining his
ultimate goal, and for that reason the Church blesses them. In
her blessing the church commends these animals to St. Anthony
the hermit, who from the earliest times was regarded as the
patron of farmers and animal breeders. The following prayers can
be used when the animals are placed in harness for the first
O God, our refuge and strength, the source of our devotion, hear
the devout prayers of the Church, grant that what we ask in
faith we may obtain in fact.
Almighty, eternal God, who didst test glorious Saint Anthony the
hermit in many temptations and didst grant him to go forth
untouched by the seductions of this world: grant us Thy servants
to make progress in virtue by his example and to be freed from
the dangers of this life by his merits and intercession.
May these animals, O Lord, receive Thy blessing; may they be
sound in body and, by the intercession of Saint Anthony the
hermit, may they be preserved from all evil. Through Christ our
Blessing of All Domestic Animals
Lord God King of heaven and earth, Thou the Word of the Father
by whom all creatures were given us for our support: look down,
we beseech Thee, on our lowliness. As Thou hast given us these
animals to assist us in our labors and needs so mayest Thou in
Thy great goodness and mercy bless them from above, guard and
preserve them; and, while Thou givest Thy servants temporal
benefits, mayest Thou grant us thy continual grace so that we
may praise Thy holy name with thanksgiving.
Blessing of Diseased Cattle
(The priest wears the violet stole.)
V. O Lord, deal not with us according to our sins;
R. Nor reward us according to our iniquities.
V. Thou healest men and beasts;
R. For Thy mercy is great.
V. Thou openest Thy hand;
R. And fillest with blessing every living creature.
O God, who hast decreed that the dumb animals should help man in
his labors, we humbly pray Thee, do not permit these animals to
perish, because without them man cannot support and nourish
We call upon Thy mercy, O Lord, without ceasing grant that these
animals, afflicted with grievous disease, may be restored to
health in Thy name and by the power of Thy blessing. May all the
power of the devil be driven from them so that they will
languish no more. Be Thou, O Lord, the protector of their lives
and the healer of their ailments.
Turn away from us, O Lord, we beseech Thee, the scourges of Thy
punishment and drive off this disease that attacks these
animals, as Thou punishest those who wander from Thy paths, but
givest Thy grace when they have amended their lives. Through
Christ our Lord. Amen.
Blessing of Diseased Animals
This prayer may be used when there is no epidemic.
We call upon Thy mercy, O Lord, without ceasing; grant that
these animals, afflicted with grievous disease, may be restored
to health in Thy name and by the power of Thy blessing. May all
the power of the devil be driven from them so that they will
languish no more. Be Thou, O Lord, the protector of their lives
and the healer of their ailments.
Blessing of Salt and Feed for Animals
Neither should the feed of the animals be without the Church's blessing,
since the health of the animals depends on their nourishment, and thus
also man's welfare and prosperity.
Lord God, Creator and Preserver of all things, in whose hand is
the vital principle of every living being and the spirit of all
flesh, hear we beseech Thee, the prayers of those who believe in
Thee. Pour out Thy blessing on this salt (feed, fodder) and fill
it with the benefits of Thy invisible power; grant that these
animals which Thou hast graciously destined for man's needs may
be freed of all disease and protected from the attacks of the
evil one when they eat of this salt (feed, fodder). Through
Christ our Lord. Amen.
Blessing of Bees
Lord God, Almighty, who didst create heaven and earth, and all
the animals that live in the air and on the earth for the use of
man; Thou who hast directed that the ministers of Thy holy
Church should light candles made of beeswax when the holy
sacrifice is offered in which the Sacred Body and Blood of Jesus
Christ, Thy Son, becomes present and is consumed; send down Thy
blessing on these bees, that they may multiply and be fruitful
and be preserved from all harm so that the product of their
labor may be used to Thy honor, and to the honor of Thy Son, and
the Holy Spirit, and the most blessed Virgin Mary. Through the
same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Blessing of a Mill
Almighty, eternal God who hast said: "In the sweat of thy face
shalt thou eat bread," bless this mill which has been built to
grind the grain from which our bread is made, and send an angel
of light to guard this mill.
Blessing of a Spring or Well
We cry without ceasing, O Lord, to Thy fatherly goodness that
Thou wouldst sanctify this fountain of water with Thy heavenly
blessing and make it suitable for every use. Drive from it every
influence of the devil so that whoever draws from it or drinks
this water may enjoy good health and full vigor, and give praise
and thanks to Thee, the Sanctifier and Preserver of all things.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Holy Mother Church, ever most benevolent, covers every growing thing with
her blessing. Thus she has her blessings for fields, pastures, and
gardens. She has, for instance, a blessing for the germinating seed.
Blessing for the Sprouting Seed
To Thee, O Lord, we cry and pray: bless this sprouting seed,
strengthen it in the gentle movement of soft winds, refresh it
with the dew of heaven, and let it grow to full maturity for the
good of body and soul.
Blessing of Pasture, Meadows, and Fields
This solemn blessing may be said by the priest sometime before the cattle
are put on pasture for the summer.
O God, through whom every good thing has its beginning, and
through whom it is improved and increased; grant, we beseech
Thee, to us who cry to Thee, that this work, which we are
beginning for the praise of Thy name, may be happily brought to
completion through the never-failing gift of Thy fatherly
wisdom. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty, eternal God, Thou hast given to Thy priests a special
grace so that we may be sure that whatever is worthily done by
them in Thy name is done also by Thee. We beseech Thy clemency
that Thou wouldst visit what we now visit, that Thou wouldst
bless what we now bless, and that Thou wouldst stretch forth Thy
mighty right arm over that which we now do, and that, by the
merits and intercession of Thy saints and this entrance of our
humble persons, the demons may be put to flight and the angel of
peace may enter in. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Then the Litany of All Saints is chanted with the following special
invocations at the end:
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bless these fields and pastures;
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bless and preserve these fields
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bless and preserve these fields
and pastures and keep far from them every snare of the evil
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe graciously to disperse and keep off
lightning, hail, storm, and floods from this place.
After each invocation the parish answers:
We beseech Thee, hear us.
After the Litany the following verses and responses and oration are said,
with the sprinkling of holy water:
Send forth Thy spirit and they shall be created; And Thou shalt
renew the face of the earth. For the Lord will give goodness;
And our earth shall yield her fruit.
We humbly beseech Thy clemency, O Lord, that Thou wouldst render
these fields (pastures, meadows) fertile with rains in due
season, that Thou wouldst fill them with Thy blessing, and so
grant that Thy people may be ever thankful for Thy gifts. Take
infertility from the earth and fill the hungry with Thy gifts
which the fruitful earth will yield in fullness that the poor
and needy may praise the name of Thy glory forever and ever.
Blessing of Orchards and Vineyard
We beseech Thee, Almighty God, in Thy goodness, to pour down Thy
blessing on these young shoots and sprouts which Thou hast
permitted to grow with due sunshine and rain, and make them to
grow into mature fruit. Grant to Thy people that they may always
give thanks to Thee for Thy gifts, and fill the hungry with Thy
gifts which the fruitful earth produces in fullness so that the
poor and needy may praise Thy glory.
Prayer Against Harmful Animals
e.g. mice, worms, snails, plant lice, and others.
Such harmful animals often threaten to destroy the fruits of
man's labor. The Church comes to the farmer's aid with a special
prayer which is to be recited by a specially authorized priest.
Wearing surplice and violet stole, the priest goes to the affected fields
or vineyards, and begins the following antiphon:,
Arise, O Lord, help us and redeem us for Thy name's sake (with
the psalm and Glory be to the Father, etc.)
Then the following prayers by the specially authorized priest:
Graciously hear our prayers, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that we
who are justly punished for our sins and must bear the
punishment of this plague, may be freed from it for the glory of
Thy name. By Thy power may these injurious animals be driven off
so that they will do no harm to any one and will leave our
fields and meadows unharmed, and so that the things sprouting
and growing in these fields may honor Thy majesty and serve our
Almighty, eternal God, Thou the giver of all good things who
hast mercy for all sinners, in whose name every knee in heaven,
on earth, and under the earth should bend, grant to us sinners
by Thy grace that which we ask with confidence in Thy mercy. May
we be freed from the plague of these rodents (worms, snails,
plant lice, etc.) by Thy strong hand and may we joyously give
thanks to Thy majesty.
Now follows the solemn exorcism of the harmful animals:
I conjure you mice (worms, snails, lice, etc.) in the name of
God, the Almighty Father, of Jesus Christ, His only Son, and of
the Holy Spirit who proceeds from both, that you go out from
these fields and pastures and remain no more in them, but depart
for places where you can harm no one. In the name of God, the
Almighty, of the whole heavenly court, and of God's holy Church,
I declare you accursed wherever you go so that you will become
fewer day by day. May no part of you be found again, unless it
be for man's welfare, May He graciously grant this, who will
come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire.
Blessing of the Barn and the Stored Harvest
Even after the farmer has brought under roof the harvest received through
God's blessing, the Church does not forget him, because the harvested
grain and the stored fruits need God's special blessing. Here is the
formula for the blessing for the fruits of the earth of all kinds: grains,
O Lord, Almighty God, Thou dost not cease to give many riches in
the dew that falls from heaven, and nourishment for life in
fertility of the soil. We give thanks to Thy most gracious
majesty for the fruits of the field which we have harvested, and
we pray that Thou wouldst bless and preserve these fruits which
we have received from Thy hand; grant us, whom Thou hast filled
with these gifts, that we may glory in Thy protection and praise
Thy mercy forever, and so having received (enjoyed) temporal
gifts we may not lose those that are eternal.
Blessing of Herbs on the Feast of the Assumption
When this great feast of the Mother of God is celebrated, nature is still
arrayed in her summer glories although the harvest has already begun. At
this time the Church blesses herbs and fruits with gratitude for these
gifts and for the new harvest. The fruits and grains added to the herbs
are the first fruits of the farm. And if, by God's goodness, the farmer
has received a rich harvest, he should remember what today's prayer tells
him: that this temporal prosperity should prepare the way for eternal
Before the High Mass (after the Asperges, if the feast falls on Sunday),
the priest goes to the altar and, turning to those who carry the
collection of fruits, herbs and grains, says:
V. Our help is in the name of the Lord;
R. Who hath made heaven and earth.
V. A hymn, O God, becometh Thee in Sion: and a vow shall be paid
to Thee in Jerusalem.
R. O hear my prayer: all flesh shall come to Thee.
V. The words of the wicked have prevailed over us; and Thou wilt
pardon our transgressions.
R. Blessed is he whom Thou hast chosen and taken to Thee: he
shall dwell in Thy courts.
V. We shall be filled with the good things of Thy house: holy is
Thy temple, wonderful in justice.
R. Hear us O God, our Savior, who art the hope of all the ends
of the earth, and in the sea afar off.
V. Thou who preparest the mountains by Thy strength, being
girded with power: who troublest the depth of the sea, the noise
of its waves.
R. The Gentiles shall be troubled, and they that dwell in the
uttermost borders shall be afraid at Thy signs: Thou shalt make
the outgoings of the morning and of the evening to be joyful.
V. Thou hast visited the earth, and hast plentifully watered it:
Thou hast in many ways enriched it.
R. The river of God is filled with water, Thou hast prepared
their food: for so is its preparation.
V. Fill up plentifully the stream thereof, multiply its fruits:
it shall spring up and rejoice in its showers.
R. Thou shalt bless the crown of the year with Thy goodness: and
Thy fields shall be filled with plenty.
V. The beautiful places of the wilderness shall grow fat: and
the hills shall be girded about with joy.
R. The rams of the flock are clothed, and the vales shall abound
with corn: they shall shout, yea, they shall sing a hymn.
This thanksgiving hymn of Israel is followed by these versicles:
V. For the Lord will give goodness;
R. And our earth shall yield her fruit.
V. Thou waterest the hills from Thy upper rooms.
R. The earth shall be filled with the fruit of Thy works;
V. Bring forth grass for cattle.
R. And herb for the service of men;
V. That Thou mayst bring bread out of the earth;
R. And that wine may cheer the heart of man
V. That he may make the face cheerful with oil;
R. And that bread may strengthen man's heart.
V. He sent His word and healed them;
R And delivered them from their destruction.
Almighty, eternal God: by Thy word Thou hast created heaven,
earth, and the sea, all things visible and invisible, out of
nothing; Thou hast ordained that the earth bring forth plants
and trees for the use of men and animals; Thou hast decreed that
each germinate according to its nature and bring forth fruit in
due time, and Thou hast decreed that these plants should serve
not only as food but as medicine in time of sickness. We humbly
pray with heart and tongue that Thou wouldst bless these various
herbs and plants and in Thy mercy grant a new blessing upon
those powers that Thou hast caused to be inherent in these
plants. May they, therefore, be a protection against all
sickness and tribulation when we use them for man and beast in
Thy name whose glorious Assumption we celebrate this day.
O God, who on this day didst raise the root of Jesse, the mother
of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, to the heights of heaven, we
humbly pray Thee, that by her intercession and under her
protection the fruit of her womb, Thy Son, might be given to us
mortal men, that by the power of Thy Son and the protection of
His glorious Mother we may be disposed to our eternal salvation
by these temporal gifts.
The priest concludes this blessing of herbs by sprinkling them with holy
water and incensing them.
O God, who didst command the children of Israel that they should
bring the sheaves of new fruits to the priest to be blessed and
that they should rejoice before the Lord, graciously hear our
prayers and pour forth the fullness of Thy blessing upon these
fruits and herbs which we gratefully present this day before Thy
altar. Grant that, wherever they may be placed, they may be a
potent means against sickness and pestilence, against the poison
of serpents and the sting of poisonous animals, as also against
the deceits, snares, and machinations of the devil. Grant that
we may be worthy to be received with our sheaves of good works
into heaven through the merits of the most Blessed Virgin Mary.
IN THE MACHINE AGE
For centuries the Church walked by the side of the tiller of the land and
pronounced her blessings on his work. Those blessings are a venerable
heritage of days when man lived in closer communion with nature. And the
Church did not abandon her children when they went to workshops and
factories where a new age sang its chant to the accompaniment of
clattering and clanking machines. The Church had blessings for forges and
smelteries, for the means of transportation of an older age, but now she
has added blessings for the telegraph, the dynamo, the railroad, and the
Blessing of a Wagon or other Vehicle
Be gracious, O Lord God, to our prayers and bless this vehicle
with Thy right hand. Send Thy holy angels to accompany it that
they may keep from all evils those who ride in it; and as once
Thou didst grant faith and grace through Thy deacon Philip to
the Ethiopian riding in his chariot and reading the word of God,
so now show the way of salvation to Thy servants that, always
given to good works, they attain to everlasting joys after the
vicissitudes of the journey and of this life. Through Christ our
Blessing of a Dynamo
The Ordinary's permission is required for this blessing of a dynamo. The
clergy meet at the neighboring church and proceed to the place where the
dynamo has been installed. On the way they chant or recite the canticle
Benedictus and Psalm 96.
Ant. Light is risen to the just: and joy to the right of heart.
Psalm. The Lord hath reigned, let the earth rejoice: let many
islands be glad.
Clouds and darkness are round about Him: justice and judgment
are the establishment of his throne.
A fire shall go before Him and shall burn His enemies round
His lightnings have shone forth to the world: the earth saw and
The mountains melted like wax, at the presence of the Lord; at
the presence of the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens declared His justice: and all the people saw his
Let them be all confounded that adore graven things, and that
glory in their idols.
Adore Him, all you His angels: Sion heard and was glad.
And the daughters of Juda rejoiced, because of thy judgments, O
For Thou art the most high Lord over all the earth:
Thou are exalted exceedingly above all gods.
You that love the Lord, hate evil: the Lord preserveth the souls
of His saints, He will deliver them out of the hand of the
Light is risen to the just, and joy to the right of heart.
Rejoice, ye just, in the Lord: and give praise to the
remembrance of His holiness.
This psalm, as well as the canticle of Zachary, speaks of the supernatural
light of grace and of the source of all light, God Himself. Since all
created light is a reflection of the eternal Light, it naturally refers
its origin to God. Thus the antiphon of the psalm emphasizes the verse:
Light is risen to the just.
Then follows a prayer to the Blessed Virgin who "gave to the world the
everlasting light, Jesus Christ our Lord": (Preface for feasts of the
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, to us Thy servants, that we
may ever enjoy health of body and mind and, by the glorious
intercession of Blessed Mary ever a Virgin, be delivered from
present sorrow and obtain everlasting happiness. Through our
Lord Jesus Christ.
Then the following prayer is said over the dynamo:
Lord God omnipotent, Creator of all lights, bless this new
machine constructed to produce light, and grant that after the
darkness of this world we may come to Thee, the never- failing
light. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
BLESSING OF FOOD
Blessing of Eggs
For the Church, eggs have always been a symbol of the Resurrection, since
from the apparently lifeless shell, life breaks forth. Eggs ought to
remind us in joyous gratitude of the Redemption made known on Easter
morning, and also of our own resurrection with Christ which took place
when we were baptized.
We pray Thee, O Lord, may the grace of Thy benediction come down
upon these eggs, that they may be healthful food for Thy people
who eat them in thanksgiving for the Resurrection of Our Lord
Jesus Christ, who liveth with Thee and ruleth for all eternity.
Blessing of Bread and Cake
The Church's blessing of bread consecrates earthly bread as representative
of the heavenly, Eucharistic bread which Christ, the "bread of life,"
gives us as sacrificial food in Holy Communion. In referring ordinary
bread to the Holy Eucharist we are reminded of the early Christian
eulogies, i.e., the bread which the early Christians brought to the altar
in the offertory procession of the Mass, and which received a special
blessing after the consecration, but which was not changed into the body
of Christ. This bread the Christians took home with them as blessed bread.
Lord Jesus Christ. Thou the bread of angels, Thou the living
bread of eternal life, graciously deign to bless this bread as
Thou didst bless the five loaves in the desert: that all who
partake of it may have health of body and soul. Who livest and
reignest forever. Amen.
Blessing of Cheese and Butter
O Lord, almighty God, deign to bless and sanctify this cheese
(or butter), which Thou hast produced from the fat of animals,
that whoever of Thy faithful people eat of it may be filled with
every heavenly blessing and Thy grace, and may abound in good
works. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Blessing of Bacon or Lard
Bless, O Lord, this lard (or bacon), that it may be an effective
remedy for the human race, and grant that through the invocation
of Thy holy name all those who eat of it may obtain health of
body and protection of their souls. Through Christ our Lord.
Another Blessing of Bread
Holy Lord, almighty Father, eternal God, graciously deign to
bless this bread with Thy spiritual benediction that all who eat
it may have health of body and soul and that they may be
protected against all sickness and against all the snares of
their enemies. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, the living bread
that came down from heaven and giveth life and salvation to the
world; who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the
Holy Ghost, forever and ever. Amen.
Blessing of Poultry
O God, Creator of all things, besides the other kinds of
creatures Thou hast deigned to produce the species of birds for
the use of mankind. With these birds, Noe, as he was leaving the
ark, offered Thee an acceptable sacrifice; and when Thy people
were being led out of Egypt by Moses Thy servant, Thou gavest a
precept that they should eat of these birds, separating the
clean from the unclean. We humbly beseech Thee, graciously bless
and sanctify the flesh of these clean birds, that all who eat of
them may be filled with Thy abundant blessing and may merit to
attain the well watered gardens of eternal life. Through Christ
our lord Amen.
Blessing of Grapes
Bless, O Lord, these new fruits of the vine which Thou hast
brought to maturity by the dew of heaven, by plentiful rains,
and by tranquil and favorable weather. Thou hast given us this
fruit for our use that we may receive it with thanks in the name
of our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in
the unity of the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen.
Blessing of Fresh Fruit
Bless, O Lord, these new fruits (here insert the name of the
fruits), and grant that all who eat of them in Thy holy name may
obtain health of body and soul. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Blessing of Wine
On the feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist (December 28)
Primitive peoples had a custom of pouring out a cup of wine in honor of
Wodan or some other pagan god. When these tribes were converted, the
Church transformed the pagan custom into a Christian ceremony, and the
wine was offered and dedicated to one of God's saints, St. John. In this
ceremony the wine was blessed by the Church by invoking the name of the
A beautiful legend tells us that on one occasion this great Apostle
remained unharmed when he drank a cup of wine that had been poisoned,
after he had blessed it with the sign of the cross and a prayer. Our Lord
had fulfilled a promise that He made to all of His disciples who would be
united to Him in love and faith. "And if they shall drink any deadly
thing, it shall not hurt them" (Mark 16:18). Thus St. John's wine becomes
a sacramental which should protect us against poisonous things and other
evils, preserve us healthy in soul and body, and finally lead us to
The St. John blessing takes place following the last Gospel of the
principal Mass. After the usual invocations, the priest recites three
Graciously bless and sanctify, O Lord God, this wine and this
drink with Thy right hand, and grant that by the merits of St.
John, Apostle and Evangelist, all who believe in Thee and
partake of this wine may be blessed and protected. And as St.
John drank poison from a cup and was unharmed, so may all those
who this day drink of this cup in honor of St. John be
preserved from all poisoning and other harmful things, and as
they offer themselves to Thee in body and soul may they be free
of all guilt. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bless, O Lord, this drink which Thou hast created, that it may
be a salutary remedy for all who partake of it, and grant that
all who taste of it may, by invoking Thy holy name, receive
health for body and soul. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
And may the blessing of Almighty God, of the Father, of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit, come down upon this wine and any other
drink, and remain forever. Amen.
Another St. John Blessing of Wine
After the last Gospel of the Mass in the feast of St. John:
The Lord ruleth me: and I shall want nothing.
He hath set me in a place of pasture. He hath brought me up on
the water of refreshment.
He hath converted my soul. He hath led me on the paths of
justice, for His own name's sake.
For though I should walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I
will fear no evils, for Thou art with me.
Thy rod and Thy staff, they have comforted me.
Thou hast prepared a table before me, against them that afflict
Thou hast anointed my head with oil: and my chalice which
inebriateth me, how goodly is it!
And Thy mercy will follow me all the days of my life.
And that I may dwell in the house of the Lord unto the length of
The psalm is followed by the Our Father and a series of
versicles. Then the priest says three prayers:
O holy Lord, almighty Father, eternal God, who didst wish that
Thy Son, co-eternal and consubstantial with Thee, should come
down from heaven and be born in the fullness of time of the most
holy Virgin Mary in order to seek the lost and wandering sheep
and carry in back on His shoulders to the fold, and also that He
might heal the wounds of him who fell among robbers, pouring in
oil and wine; bless and sanctify this wine which Thou hast made
from the vine for man's drink, and grant that all those who
drink or partake of it in this sacred solemnity may obtain
health of body and soul, and if they be on a journey they may be
comforted through Thy grace and that their journey may be
completed successfully. Though the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, Thou didst call Thyself the vine and Thy holy
apostles the branches, and Thou didst wish to make a good
vineyard out of all those who love Thee, bless this wine and
pour into it the power of Thy benediction, so that all who drink
or partake of it, by the intercession of Thy beloved disciple,
the holy Apostle and Evangelist John, may be freed of every
disease and pestilential attack and obtain health of body and
soul. Who livest and reignest forever. Amen.
O God, Thou didst create bread for the food of mankind and wine
for its drink so that bread might strengthen the body and wine
rejoice the heart of men; Thou didst also grant to Thy beloved
disciple, St. John, the grace of being able to drink the
poisoned cup without harm and also of raising from the dead
those killed by poison, grant to all who drink this wine the
attainment of spiritual joy and everlasting life. Though our
Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Blessing of Food in General
Bless, O Lord this (. . .) that this food may be an effective
and salutary remedy for mankind. For Thy name's sake, grant that
all who partake of it may obtain health of body and safety of
soul. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.