Dear Fr. Z,
I was talking to a fellow priest the other day regarding blessings. I was relating to him how I loved using the Extraordinary Form blessings from the 3 Vol. set [translated by Weller], to which he said he prefers them as well. I then asked if he had used any of the blessings to make sacramental healing water yet, e.g. on the feast of Ignatius the Confessor. He replied that he hadn’t because those were reserved. I responded that I had heard that all reserved blessings had been lifted since circa Vatican II. Personally I should have fact-checked hearsay before using some of the EF blessings; yet, here is my attempt at resolving this liturgical legal conundrum.
Reverend and Dear Father, on 26 Sept 1964 the Sacred Congregation of Rites, on September issued an Instruction stating in par. 77:
“The blessings in the Rituale Romanum tit. IX, cap. 9, 10, 11, hitherto reserved, may be given by any priest, except for: the blessing of a bell for the use of a blessed church or oratory (cap. 9, no. 11); the blessing of the cornerstone of a church (cap. 9, no. 16); the blessing of a new church or public oratory (cap. 9, no. 17); the blessing of an antemensium (cap. 9, no. 21); the blessing of a new cemetery (cap. 9, no. 22); papal blessings (cap. 10, nos. 1-3); the blessing and erection of the stations of the cross (cap. 11, no. 1). reserved to the bishop.”
So, any priest, not just a member of the Society of Jesus, can use the blessing of water in honor of St. Ignatius.
There are lots of spiffy blessings in the book, Father! Use them! Lay people, check ‘em out! Figure out a way to integrate these sacramentals into your lives.
Those blessings that were formerly reserved can be found on the great website maintained by the Canons of St. John Cantius, HERE.
Finally, thank you, Pope Benedict, for the provisions of Summorum Pontificum!
The older Roman Ritual is a mighty tool for the promotion of the New Evangelization.