Wherein Fr. Z blissfully causes work for a harried parish priest. Another seasonal blessing: for Assumption.

I noted on the distinguished blog of the mighty Dean of Bexley, the Parish Priest of Blackfen, His Hermeneuticalness, Fr. Tim Finigan that my post about blessing grapes on the Feast of the Transfiguration stuck pay dirt.

H.H. whinges:

Thanks to Fr Zuhlsdorf I had to stay on after Mass for the feast of the Transfiguration this evening to bless some grapes – the man positively goads people to bring things to the parish priest to bless. I had to go into the presbytery, get the ritual and look up the Benedictio uvarum. To be sure, it was there in the book, with the reference to the ros caeli and all. You can read about it at the post Special blessing of grapes where he shamelessly incites the faithful: “So, get your grapes and get them blessed if you can.” I ask you! When is the parish priest going to be able to put on his slippers and relax with a pipe and a good book? I’m plagued in my parish with hordes of people who read these pesky Catholic blogs. I’ve got half a dozen who write the blasted things. Bah! Humbug!

Seriously though, …

Read the rest there.

You can find more about this event on the blog of Mulier Fortis.

My work here is just beginning!  There are all sorts of great seasonal blessings.

Did you know that for the Feast of the Assumption there is the Blessing of Herbs?

On the Feast of the Assumption, bring herbs to the parish priest and ask him to bless them.  The blessing would include cultivated flowers and wildflowers.  In times past the herbs and flowers would be placed on the altar or under the altar clothes so that they could be close to the Blessed Sacrament.  If the day was a Sunday, the blessing was done after the Asperges, otherwise it was immediately before Mass, the priest near the altar and people standing near the rail holding their flowers and herbs.

Yes, indeed!  It is in the older Rituale Romanum.

PRIEST: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 64
P: To you we owe our hymn of praise, O God, in Sion; to you must vows be fulfilled, you who hear prayers.
All: To you all flesh must come* because of wicked deeds.
P: We are overcome by our sins; * it is you who pardon them.
All: Happy the man you choose, * and bring to dwell in your courts.
P: May we be filled with the good things of your house, * the holy things of your temple.
All: With awe-inspiring deeds of justice you answer us, * O God our Savior,
P: The hope of all the ends of the earth * and of the distant seas.
All: You set the mountains in place by your power, * you who are girt with might;
P: You still the roaring of the seas, * the roaring of their waves and the tumult of the peoples.
All: And the dwellers at the earth’s ends are in fear at your marvels; * the farthest east and west you make resound with joy.
P: You have visited the land and watered it; * greatly have you enriched it.
All: God’s watercourses are filled; you have prepared the grain. * Thus have you prepared the land:
P: Drenching its furrows, * breaking up its clods,
All: Softening it with showers, * blessing its yield.
P: You have crowned the year with your bounty, * and your paths overflow with a rich harvest;
All: The untilled meadows overflow with it, * and rejoicing clothes the hills.
P: The fields are garmented with flocks and the valleys blanketed with grain. * They shout and sing for joy.
All: Glory be to the Father.
P: As it was in the beginning.
P: The Lord will be gracious.
All: And our land will bring forth its fruit.
P: You water the mountains from the clouds.
All: The earth is replenished from your rains.
P: Giving grass for cattle.
All: And plants for the benefit of man.
P: You bring wheat from the earth.
All: And wine to cheer man’s heart.
P: Oil to make his face lustrous.
All: And bread to strengthen his heart.
P: He utters a command and heals their suffering.
All: And snatches them from distressing want.

P: Lord, heed my prayer.
All: And let my cry be heard by you.

P: The Lord be with you.
All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.
Almighty everlasting God, who by your word alone brought into being the heavens, earth, sea, things seen and things unseen, and garnished the earth with plants and trees for the use of man and beast; who appointed each species to bring forth fruit in its kind, not only for the food of living creatures, but for the healing of sick bodies as well; with mind and word we urgently call on you in your great kindness to bless these various herbs and fruits, thus increasing their natural powers with the newly given grace of your blessing. May they keep away disease and adversity from men and beasts who use them in your name; through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.

Let us pray.
God, who through Moses, your servant, directed the children of Israel to carry their sheaves of new grain to the priests for a blessing, to pluck the finest fruits of the orchard, and to make merry before you, the Lord their God; hear our supplications, and shower blessings in abundance upon us and upon these bundles of new grain, new herbs, and this assortment of produce which we gratefully present to you on this festival, blessing them in your name. Grant that men, cattle, flocks, and beasts of burden find in them a remedy against sickness, pestilence, sores, injuries, spells, against the fangs of serpents or poisonous creatures. May these blessed objects be a protection against diabolical mockery, cunning, and deception wherever they are kept, carried, or otherwise used. Lastly, through the merits of the blessed Virgin Mary, whose Assumption we are celebrating, may we all, laden with the sheaves of good works, deserve to be taken up to heaven; through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.

Let us pray.
God, who on this day raised up to highest heaven the rod of Jesse, the Mother of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, that by her prayers and patronage you might communicate to our mortal nature the fruit of her womb, your very Son; we humbly implore you to help us use these fruits of the soil for our temporal and everlasting welfare, aided by the power of your Son and the prayers of His glorious Mother; through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.

And may the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, come upon these creatures and remain always.
All: Amen.

They are sprinkled with holy water and incensed.

 

 

 

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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15 Responses to Wherein Fr. Z blissfully causes work for a harried parish priest. Another seasonal blessing: for Assumption.

  1. dburnette10 says:

    So do I have to cut the herbs? Or can I just take my little plant in its little planter? And is peppermint even an herb? And I wish I had known about this Sunday, before I gave the other peppermint to a friend.

  2. Filipino Catholic says:

    Wow that’s a long blessing. I suppose Fr. Finigan will have a fit if and when he sees this post or his parishioners bringing herbs and flowers en masse.

    Here in the Philippines, we only have a few seasonal blessings: candles (Candelaria, local name for the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord on February 2), palm branches (Palm Sunday), and animals (Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, October 4). Of course there’s the blessing of the ashes on Ash Wednesday and the blessing of the chrism on Maundy Thursday, but the laity don’t exactly provide the materials to be blessed, right?

    AD IESV PER MARIA,
    Filipino Catholic.

  3. lucindatcm says:

    So if you use Horehound and Wild Cherry Bark and Elderberry to deal with colds and coughs, the Church has a blessing for that? As in, for herbalism? Wow. I generally start getting things ready of salves and tinctures and things of that nature at this time of year, but obviously I have to track down my wonderful priest first.

  4. lucindatcm: So if you use Horehound and Wild Cherry Bark and Elderberry to deal with colds and coughs, the Church has a blessing for that?

    Of course! We have blessings for all those things which are good and useful for mankind and deprecatory prayers against things which are harmful.

    Consider that the ancients and our medieval ancestors were very knowledgeable about herbs and their uses. I have a wonderful book in Italian about the concoctions and potions made in medieval monasteries. And let us not forget that some of those medicinal concoctions taste pretty good. Think of Chartreuse.

    Modern medicine has its basis in the ancient. Even today there are drugs for depression derived from Borage, which the ancients knew was a treatment for melancholy.

    None of this should surprise.

    Holy Church is the greatest expert on humanity that there is. She, like a good mother, knows what we need and blesses things which are good for us.

    Moreover, even when there is no explicit blessing for a new thing, discovery, even gadget, we can either use the “Blessing for All Things” or adopt an existing blessing. I once blessed the hardware of an artificial knee by adapting the Blessing for Mountain-climbing Gear.

  5. Joe in Canada says:

    Whenever I see things brought out from the older Rituale (wise steward that you are) I am always impressed by how much closer they are to various Orthodox prayers, blessings, etc, and likewise with the Mass itself.

  6. RichR says:

    Did you know that for the Feast of the Assumption there is the Blessing of Herbs?

    FrZ,

    You’re so bad. Laying all these blessings out for poor FrF to tend to. LOL!!!

  7. Filipino Catholic says:

    Now if the liberals decide to one-up us and formulate blessings for contraceptives…. Let’s just say John Paul the Great would be turning in his grave. And the Holy Father would do… what exactly? Excommunicate them? Hasn’t been used since the SSPX incident decades ago.

    To darken your day even further, here in the Philippines, our government has decided to move the “Reproductive Health Bill” out of the voting phase into the amendments phase. This brings it one step closer to being signed into law: a bill with a PhP13.7 billion fund waiting for it should it pass by yearend that provides free access to contraception, mandatory sex ed from 5th grade, and fines/jail time for people who attempt to obstruct access to said contraceptives. Meanwhile our government continues to cut education budget.

    Someone please make a blessing for brains….

    AD IESV PER MARIA,
    Filipino Catholic.

  8. Lady Catcliffe says:

    Yes, the blessing of fruits and herbs was very popular at Holy Trinity Church in Boston around the year 2000. We had several such practices inspired by the books of Father Francis X Weiser, pastor of Holy Trinity in the 1940′s, and revived by the author of “Why Do Catholics Eat Fish on Fridays,” who was attending Holy Trinity while he was in graduate school at Boston College.

    Here are the pictures:
    http://www.holytrinitygerman.org/herbsfruit.html

    (Yes, they’re grainy, as they’re scanned from prints! This was in 2000, when digital cameras were more rare than at present.)
    Above all, please pray that Holy Trinity may be restored to Catholic worship!

  9. Indulgentiam says:

    wonderful! i can really use this, thank you Father. i’m going to work up the nerve to ask my Priest if he wouldn’t mind blessing a little echinacea, chamomile and lemon balm. Our Lord thought of everything and left it right in Holy Mother Church for us to come get :)

  10. Robert_H says:

    Anyone know if this blessing can be used with the Vigil Mass of the Assumption as well? Our parish will only have N.O. Masses on the 15th but the Vigil will be EF.

  11. danielinnola says:

    We have the blessing of herbs here in New Orleans on the feast of the Assumption. The Laity bring pretty much any and every herb that grows here (especially peppermint) which grows out of control. lol Its a praiseworthy tradition that i dont think was ever abandoned in this city. One year the Times -Picayune featured a story on this custom, with pictures of the blessing at the old Ursuline Convent in the French quarter.

  12. Heheheheheh… thanks for this one, Father Z. His Hermeneuticalness has seen it and is already pretending to grouse about the extra work he’s anticipating for next week…

    I got out of the habit of having fresh herbs and potted plants in my flat, as Sylvester would eat them. Not sure how the Monsignori would react, but it might be a good time to try them out…

  13. Elizabeth M says:

    Having some trouble finding a blessing for an apple harvest. Any one have suggestions?

  14. Suburbanbanshee says:

    The normal apple harvest blessing would go under “Benedictio novorum Fructuum,” after the harvest, but there’s a “Blessing of Crops and Vineyards” possible beforehand, though that’s probably more a spring planting thing. (Didn’t take the time to read the Latin.)

    There are probably special connections with various saints’ days in various places. I’m sure there are also private devotion prayers that laypeople say before harvests of various kinds.

  15. Michael_Thoma says:

    P: The Lord be with you.
    All: May He also be with you.

    Is that correct? Or the outdated ICEL version?