From a reader:
Much of the time, I use one of the Rosary applications on my iPod touch in order to pray the Rosary. Would it be appropriate to ask a Dominican or other priest to use the Rosary blessing on my iPod touch, or is this just too weird? I suppose the same would be true of any other non-beads way of praying the Rosary.
In all seriousness, does one need to use bead-Rosaries in order to get your Rosary mechanism blessed? This might be an increasing issue going forward.
I quickly reviewed the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum to see what is required for gaining the indulgences attached to recitation of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
I did not discover, as I suspected I would not, that rosaries must be blessed for you to gain the indulgence.
It was indeed the custom that if you used a rosary blessed by a Domincan or a priest with a special faculty to do so, you could gain additional indulgences than those which were laid out in, for example, the Raccolta. I don’t believe that is any longer in force.
Nevertheless, I think it is a very good thing to have your rosary blessed by a priest or bishop…. or Pope for that matter.
A rosary is a thing most terrifying to our deadly spiritual enemies, Ol’ Scratch and his demonic minions. They really hate this thing. However, when it is also a sacramental, that is, ripped from the realm of the profane and given over entirely to the realm of the sacred, a rosary is an even greater tool and defense against evil – especially when used.
I recommend that you have your rosaries blessed by a priest using the older, traditional Rituale Romanum. The simple prayer for blessing in the older Rituale actually constitutes the rosary as a blessed thing. I believe that one of the options in the newer (and nearly useless) "Book of Blessings" or in Latin De Benedictionibus, retains the older form of blessing as it is in the older Rituale Romanum.
The Rituale has two forms for blessing a rosary, a longer used by Dominicans (and other priests) and a shorter, which is the usual.
That said, we might consider that whole blessing the iPhone business.
There are blessings for Telegraph machines in the older Rituale. And iPhones are used for e-mails and SMSs. There is a blessing for a radio station, and the iPhone does broadcast and receive.
This is why we do need an updated book with blessings for some modern things not even in the imagination of those who originally worked with the Rituale Romanum. But it has to be a good book, with a sound theology of blessings rather than the insipid tasteless-salt book I mentioned above.
I guess you could use the blessing "For all things", but I rather like the idea of a little adaptation to those I mentioned above.
I once blessed the hardware going into someone’s knee-replacement. I used the blessing for mountain climbing equipment.
I am ever the optimist.