WDTPRS POLL: 3 February St. Blaise Day Blessing of Throats

Our liturgical calendar is packed with wonderful opportunties for spiritual benefits.

Today there is a special blessing for candles (not just yesterday!) in honor of St. Blaise and then a blessing of throats.

I once stood for hours in the church in Rome dedicated to St. Blaise and blessed people with a relic of the saint.

Please chose your best response and leave a comment in the combox!

St. Blaise Blessing of Throats

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Specially blessed candles held in the form of an X or a relic of St. Blaise is placed at the throat and the blessing is spoken by a priest or deacon:

Per intercessionem Sancti Blasii, episcopi et martyris,
liberet te Deus a malo gutturis, et a quolibet alio malo.
In nomine Patris, et Filii +, et Spiritus Sancti.  Amen.

Through the intercession of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr,
may God free you from illness of the throat and from any other sort of ill.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Ghost.  Amen.

The blessing for the candles in the older Rituale Romanum is wonderful:

O God most powerful and most kind, Who didst create all the different things in the world by the Word alone, and Whose will it was that this Word by Which all things were made should become incarnate for the remaking of mankind; Thou Who art great and limitless, worthy of reverence and praise, the worker of wonders; for Whose sake the glorious Martyr and Bishop, St. Blaise, joyfully gained the palm of martyrdom, never shrinking from any kind of torture in confessing his faith in Thee; Thou Who didst give to him, amongst other gifts, the prerogative of curing by Thy power every ailment of men’s throats; humbly we beg Thee in Thy majesty not to look upon our guilt, but, pleased by his merits and prayers, in Thine awe-inspiring kindness, to bless+this wax created by Thee and to sanc+tify it, pouring into it Thy grace; so that all who in good faith shall have their throats touched by this wax may be freed from every ailment of their throats through the merit of his suffering, and, in good health and spirits, may give thanks to Thee in Thy holy Church and praise Thy glorious name, which is blessed for ever and ever.  Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who with Thee lives and reigns, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end.  R. Amen.

Grand, ain’t it?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. EucharistLove says:

    After Daily Mass, the priest and two deacons (and two lay people!!), stood up front to bless throats. When I saw the lay people, I was disgusted and just left.

  2. heway says:

    No priest, no Mass, no blessing – would have been glad to be blessed by another….

  3. AnAmericanMother says:

    Priest on one side, lay person on the other.
    I hopped the line. Nobody said a word.

  4. biberin says:

    Once by a priest, once by a deacon. Turns out that there are a total of seven Masses between Thursday and the weekend after which the blessing is offered. But only by the priest and deacon!

  5. Elizabeth R says:

    Blessed(?) communally by a priest, because daily Mass was the school Mass today. Adults were invited to stay after Mass for an individual blessing, which I received from a priest.

  6. Elizabeth D says:

    My throat was blessed en espanol by the Associate Pastor who is not fluent in English. A deacon also blessed throats. There were no lay people attempting to bless.

  7. beccab77 says:

    sister did the honor.I should have jumped the line over to father.:/

  8. AnAmericanMother says:

    I have a question:

    I know that “Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion” are authorized to distribute communion.

    But I thought they were not authorized to bless people? And does the blessing of throats with previously blessed candles constitute a ‘blessing’ in the sense that laymen (more likely, women) are not authorized to do so?

    While ruminating on this, I decided to play it safe and jump the line.

    It was (I thought) interesting that the laywoman handling the right-hand side of the chapel was reading the blessing off a cue card from beginning to end (try handling a cue card along with two candles, even candles tied together with a ribbon), while Father forged right ahead from memory (and got it right, at least every time in my hearing). His line moved a lot faster, too.

  9. Girgadis says:

    Since I went to Mass at a church run by Augustinians, we not only had our throats blessed in honor of St. Blaise but also remembered Blessed Stephen Bellesini, whose commemoration it is today. After Mass the priest lead us in the novena to the Sacred Heart. I think he touched all the bases.

  10. marajoy says:

    I had the option to be blessed by a layperson or a priest, but it was much more likely to be a layperson (3:1) so, since I was in the choir loft, I took the path of least resistance and just didn’t go up.

  11. Precentrix says:

    Priest. In Polish, this year, but that’s okay because I knew what he was saying (and God understands, which is the important thing!). Actually, I once dragged a Presbyterian along for this event, which was his first real (and slightly odd) experience of the Catholic Church. He has since become Catholic. St. Blaise 1, Paisley 0.

  12. Mary Jane says:

    “something or othered”…

    That’s about right. Laity cannot bless.

    I think our parish is going to do this on Sunday. I’m assuming there will be two priests blessing…so I’ll end up having my throat *blessed* by one of ’em!

  13. APX says:

    I didn’t even know lay people could bless throats.

  14. wmeyer says:

    AnAmericanMother: I recall a fairly detailed article by Dr. Ed Peters in which he made plain that EMHCs are not able to give blessings.

  15. AnAmericanMother says:

    Thanks for the link!
    One thing the Episcopalians DO get right is no laymen distributing communion.
    They still have Minor Orders (after a fashion, or at least they think they do), so the worst thing you’ll see in a crowded church is an adult acolyte, vested, carrying the chalice, following the priest along the rail.
    Oddly enough, it goes much FASTER than EMHCs. My husband was Head Usher for the 11:15 High Mass in our former ECUSA parish, so he can tell you exactly.

  16. wmeyer says:

    AnAmericanMother, you are most welcome. Unfortunately, one thing the Episcopalians do not get right is the ordination of women, including, last month, a cousin of mine.

  17. Titus says:

    I went over for Mass today, in part because it’s First Friday and in part because I always make it for St. Blaise. But no blessing of the throats. Poor old Fr. ___ can barely make it through the Mass, much less fit in extra blessings.

    But I know our regular parish (as opposed to the parish next to my office, see supra) had the blessing at Mass today: ’twas in the bulletin.

  18. AnAmericanMother says:

    Yup, that’s reason 2,000 and something why I’m no longer an Episcopalian.
    But we have to give the devil his due.
    My personal experience is that the Episcopalians are traditionalists in the matter of forms of ceremony (at least the high-churchers are) while running clear off the rails in absolutely every other respect. So it’s a hollow deception (or even a whited sepulchre).
    Fortunately our home parish is quite traditional even though OF. The Ordinary of the Mass is chanted in Latin every first Sunday, and our music is more than satisfactory (chant and polyphony, with a few carefully selected modern composers thrown in. Now if we could only get rid of the modern ‘pop’ hymns . . . but that probably seemed the safest place to throw the old hippies a bone. )

  19. Will Elliott says:

    Blessed after the noon Mass by a priest who spent much of the homily explaining how St. Blaise is confused with other Saints named Blasius and how isn’t listed in St. Jerome’s martyrology and probably really didn’t exist.

  20. wmeyer says:

    AnAmericanMother, sounds like a step up from my parish. Which is it?

  21. AnAmericanMother says:

    Holy Spirit, Atlanta. (Easily accessible from 75 or 285. :-) )

    The “fully choral” Mass is at 10:00. And our choirmaster/music director plays the organ like an angel . . . an angel with a D.M.A. from Juilliard.

    Are you a singer by any chance, or do you play handbells?

  22. Elizabeth M says:

    Father does the blessing on the Feast Day and again on Sunday for those who couldn’t make it. Never miss the blessing and I owe St. Blaise a great deal since he helped intercede in my cure of Thyroid cancer.

  23. Norah says:

    I had never heard of this custom until I started reading US Catholic blogs.

    What happens when people get colds or, God forbid, throat cancer after having their throats blessed?

  24. jbincj says:

    The best part of the day began with Mass in the Extraordinary Form on First Friday for Feast of the Sacred Heart, followed by throat blessings at the Communion rail – in Latin – by the priest (in cope) flanked by the Deacon & Sub-deacon!
    Very beautiful! First time in Latin for me.

  25. Laura R. says:

    One priest, one acolyte, and two laypeople doing the blessings; I was lucky enough to be in the line for the priest.

    I don’t know why, but having laity doing these blessings and similar activities bothers me even more than EMHCs distributing Communion. Maybe I’m too used to the latter. Last year on Ash Wednesday (my first as a Catholic) I received my ashes from a layman and was bitterly disappointed. Like AnAmericanMother, I’m a former Episcopalian and was used to what is at least a more seemly appearance in matters liturgical: a priest or deacon with the paten at Communion, and ashes, blessings, etc. from a priest, but — as WMeyer points out — that priest or deacon is not at all unlikely to be a woman.

  26. JohnE says:

    10″ of snow overnight, so no.

  27. wmeyer says:

    AnAmericanMother, sorry, not a singer, nor a player of bells. My wife sings, but has a challenge, as she is accustomed to reading only the Chinese scheme for notes. A numeric system, apparently.

  28. AnAmericanMother says:

    That’s o.k., I just always ask! ( I don’t know a thing about Chinese musical notation, I didn’t know Gregorian either til I learned it after we converted. But it sounds interesting.)
    You and your bride are very welcome in any event – just stop by the choir loft and say hi.
    I look just like every other little Black Irishwoman, but you can’t miss my husband (the moose). He also has a large red beard (now mostly gray).

  29. mpolo says:

    I gave the blessing (in a Liturgy of the Word in the evening — I celebrated Mass of the Sacred Heart in the morning) German style — with lighted candles! (Which is weird to me as an American, but it’s the way the blessing is given here…)

  30. Marie Teresa says:

    No First Friday devotions. No weekday Masses. But Fr. did bless our throats last Sunday.

  31. Veronica says:

    Mass, blessings of throats by our priest, Adoration, Benediction and after that we went with our pastor to the parish hall to unpack our brand new Adoremus hymnals and say “buh-bye” to the dreadful GIA hymnals that had been in the parish for almost 20 years! Yep! I think Fr. Michael covered all the bases!

  32. pinoytraddie says:

    Wasn’t able to go Due to Pressing Matters,maybe next year.

  33. irishgirl says:

    I’ll probably get mine blessed on Sunday…by a priest, of course!
    And in Latin to boot!

  34. jaykay says:

    7.00p.m. EF Mass in Dublin. Blessing of throats immediately after, just before the Holy Hour and Benediction. Needless to remark, the blessing was done by the priest only.

  35. Michelle F says:

    I wasn’t able to pick any option in the poll above.

    My parish had the Blessing of Throats on Sunday, 12 February. Parishioners lined up at the bottom of the Sanctuary steps like we would to receive Communion at an altar rail (which we don’t have). The priest who offered Mass started on one side of the Sanctuary, and the associate priest came in and started on the other side of the Sanctuary. So far, so good.

    I was near the center of the line, so I could hear our regular priest giving the blessing. He was saying and doing what he was supposed to say and do. (He tweaks the Mass occasionally, so he’s not always a faithful rule-follower.)

    I was on the associate priest’s side of the Sanctuary, however, so I could also hear and see what he was doing – as well as getting to experience it.

    The associate priest said about half of the blessing while holding the crossed white candles over the recipient’s throat. Then he moved to the next person, said the remainder of the blessing, and moved to the next person, where he started saying the blessing again.

    I got the second half of the blessing. The women who were standing on my left and my right each got the first half of the blessing.

    So… I don’t know whether any of us on that side of the Sanctuary actually got the blessing. I know that God might have had sympathy on us and our desire for a blessing, and He might have given us a blessing in spite of what the priest did, but I’m inclined to think that we did not receive a blessing. At least, not that one.

    I know I’m late with my posting – we were late getting the blessing – but has anyone else had an experience like this? Does anyone know whether any actually blessing took place?

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