QUAERITUR: Re-blessing things with older Rituale Romanum

blessing a rosaryFrom a reader:

The prayers in the old Roman Ritual are sometimes much richer than the prayers found in the current Book of Blessings. Since the added exorcisms and petitions in the older prayers might make a sacramental more effective, is it ever permitted to have something blessed a second time according to the older ritual? If so, would this have to be a conditional blessing?

Well… I guess so.  I think you would have to examine the prayers for the things in question and then make a determination.

The newer Book of Blessings (De benedictionibus) is filled with texts that don’t seem actually to bless things, in the sense of a constitutive blessing.  The Book of Blessings has in the introductory section some theological comments which seem to eliminate any notion of the constitutive blessing.

While there are certain sacraments we cannot repeat, such as baptism, confirmation and holy orders (because they impart an indelible character which remains… even in hell or heaven), we are talking about sacramentals, not sacraments.

The bottom line is that, were you to have a thing blessed with the older Rituale Romanum that was already “blessed” (or not), no harm would be done.  At worst you would have started with something already blessed which was blessed again.  At best, you have something that wasn’t blessed that it now blessed.  I don’t think a “conditional” form has to be used, as in the case of a doubtfully conferred sacrament.

Be careful, however, with re-blessings.  My experience is that when you bless things over and over, they start to glow in the dark and float.  Do this only indoors.  You don’t want them to get away from you.

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  1. Jbuntin says:

    I have wondered this same thing myself. I have several rosarys, because I like to make them, and they have been blessed by Priests who just make the sign of the cross over them with no verbal prayer and no sprinkling of Holy Water. I never gave it a second thought.
    When I started to attend the EF a couple of years ago and watched as Father blessed items for the flock after Mass, I noticed he had certian prayers for certian items. I will not have my items re-blessed until somebody tells me that what was done, was not proper. I feel the priests who blessed my rosarys had the intention of blessing the rosary, for now that’s good enough for me.

  2. albizzi says:

    I remember that I received once a rosary through mail post frm a remote african mission which probably I gave alms to.
    There was no mention the rosary had been blessed. Likely it was but I couldn’t be 100 p.c. certain. So I dipped it in the holy water stoop at the church entrance.

  3. John Nolan says:

    I think in some ways the post-Conciliar revision of the ritual books is more worrying than the revision of the Mass. The sacraments and sacramentals are no doubt valid, but are they as efficacious? Should we be concerned that the new rite of ordination is rather vague compared with the old? Why did fairly conservative dicasteries nod through the ‘Book of Blessings’ which a lot of ordinary priests have reservations about? I have at home a reprint of a 1944 copy of the Rituale Romanum and I’m afraid I shall have to insist on its use, to be on the safe side.

  4. Bender says:

    Since the added exorcisms and petitions in the older prayers might make a sacramental more effective . . .

    More effective? You mean that God was powerless to confer a full and complete blessing the first time, or that He purposely withheld giving the full degree of blessing that He otherwise would have willed? This is erroneous thinking, I would think.

    God knows what you need when you ask, however imperfectly you ask. Even the best prayer from the best and oldest Book of Blessings in the most perfect and pristine Latin is woefully inadequate compared to the majesty of the Lord. But God will nevertheless grant you all the grace that you need and He wills that you have. Coming up with a “better” prayer isn’t going to get you anything more. Besides, the only better prayer is a prayer that is offered with more love.

  5. Alan Aversa says:

    Doesn’t “bless” mean “to set aside for God’s purposes”? Isn’t this the sense that God blessed creation, as recounted in Genesis? Thanks

  6. Random Friar says:

    Of course! In the picture we see a Dominican blessing the rosary after the Jesuit tried, and failed. (Just kidding!)

    Actually, in the picture above, it might be early enough to guess that this was when only a Dominican priest could bless a rosary. You can check out the details here, complete with Latin and English prayers:

  7. The Egyptian says:

    Our now deceased former pastor upon my asking for a blessing for a hand carved statue of the holy family sent from my family in Germany ( my fourth cousin is a great carver), dismissed me with, your blessings are as good as mine it is no longer done by Priests, that went out with the dark ages. I found another priest to do it for me. Sadly he died a bitter man, heart problems struck him down in the prime of life, hope he is at peace.

  8. dominic1955 says:

    If you go through the drive through, tell the big plastic clown head you want a burger and then are miffed when you get the burger because what you really wanted a milkshake-what is the problem here? Words have meaning, intentions have meaning too but you have to express them properly. If I priest were to do a simple Book of Blessings blessing of Holy Water, does God make it into Gregorian water? Of course not. Does he “supply” the salt and exorcisms and whatnot? No. I do think BofB water is blessed and thus Holy Water, but there have been different “levels” or kinds of Holy Water. Personally, if I’m going to keep Holy Water around, I just assume have the one that’s got the full-on traditional blessing.

    We called the Book of Blessings the “Book of Wishes” because, well, what does it usually bless? The traditional understanding of a blessing (as enshrined in the actual Rituale Romanum) is, for the most part, simply not in the BofB. Personally, after learning about it, if I want anything blessed I try to look up what can be done with it and then just take it to a traditional order priest or a any priest who will use the actual Ritual. Why not make use of the full arsenal available to us? From what the prayers for most things read like in the BofB, basically they sound like the equivalent of a meal prayer that anyone can say.

    It is similar to the exorcism rite. From what I’ve been told by reputable people, any priest who actually does an exorcism uses the traditional rite. If you actually compare them, you have to wonder what the Consilium people were thinking. Personally, I think they just didn’t really believe actual demons and such exist.

  9. pinoytraddie says:

    I had A experience of having my rosary re-blessed after having it blessed after a fake one did so.

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