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?

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  1. Christina C says:

    Despite going to a small parish, the visiting Monsignor blessed our throats all at once. He did use the prayer you’ve posted here. Is this common? Allowed?

  2. tonyfernandez says:

    That’s a big ten-no. It didn’t happen this year and I’ve never seen it done.

  3. AnAmericanMother says:

    Had the blessing, but without the candles. Better than no blessing at all I guess.

  4. fvhale says:

    No, not this year. My local parish does not have any masses on Saturday before the Sunday Vigil, so no mass for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (or Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary), and today St. Blaise gave place to the Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time. I have received this blessing in past years, however.

  5. HoyaGirl says:

    My answer is, “Yes, blessed by a priest,” but with an addendum ~ it was part of the general blessing at the end of Mass because there would not have been enough time to bless everyone individually and to begin the next Mass on time. I guess it’s a good problem to have. :)

  6. Cathy says:

    Yes, blessings were given after Mass, all those not participating were given opportunity to leave, no one left! Only priests and deacons were giving the blessings, crossed candles. I did notice, only one priest, our pastor, and one deacon giving the blessings without their other hand extended over the recipient.

  7. a catechist says:

    My throat was blessed by a deacon, but my bishop and a priest were also blessing throats. This was after the 5pm Mass, Central Time. Almost everyone in the building lined up for the individual blessing of throats after Mass, even though the Super Bowl was going on. No ipads in line, either!

    Two years ago, the intercession of St. Blase allowed me to avoid throat surgery, after an ambulance trip to ER during a blizzard in the middle of the night and surgery scheduled. I got out of the hospital on 3 Feb. Deo gratias!!

  8. Shamrock says:

    I think you should have included the following choice:
    ……..My throat was blessed with candles by an Extraordinary Minister
    However i did check the box that read my throat was something or other by a lay person as
    that came closest but seemed not quite what happened. Of course, his hand was not extended
    over me as he is not allowed to give blessings. But that first prayer was read as the
    minister held the crossed candles under my chin. Next time I will go to the center aisle
    where the priest extends his hand in blessing while holding the candles. I am 75 yrs old and have participated in the Blessingmof the Throats on St Blaise feast day since a small child. Except for those few yrs after Vatican II when it disappeared for awhile. I wish they also made possible the tradition of blessing and and all candles we brought to church that day to be blessed for home use. Of course we needed them as not only sacramentals for the home but to use for whenever a sick call was made to the home by the priest bringing communion of viaticum. Now I bring my candles to church on a weekday and ask Father to bless them after mass. He kindly does this. We had a priest also recently who told us to bring candles to be blessed if we desired….we placed them at the foot of the altar and he blessed them after the mass while blessing throats. I was amazed how many people brought candles to be blessed. We need to have a homily on sacramentals to aquaint those who many not even be aware of these powerful spiritual aides. During a recent wind storm ( actually Sandy, the hurricane) a friend who lives in NJ sprinkled holy salt aroung the base of all the large trees that loomed over her little house. Hers was the only house spared on the block from tree damage. Of course we have to understand their use so not to give the impression
    we are working some kind of vodoo or magical powers. Thus a homily would be helpful in explaining. Sorry, I got a bit long here but I am old! We do that!

  9. Frank H says:

    A liturgically satisfying weekend! On Saturday evening, the Dominicans of St. Patrick’s in Columbus, OH offered a fantastically beautiful Candlemas Mass. Three priests, one deacon, lots of servers in red cassocks and surplices, blessing of candles in the parish hall to start Mass then a procession from the parish hall into the church with everyone carrying lighted tapers, a wonderful homily on the symbolism of the candles, another procession after the preparation of the altar to give our lighted tapers to the priest, much Latin chant…absolutely wonderful.

    Today in my home parish, after Mass, two priests and one deacon blessed throats per the books.

    Feeling pretty fortunate to belong to a solid suburban parish and to have access to a Dominican parish downtown as well as a regular TLM at another solid parish downtown.

  10. JustVicky says:

    I think nearly everyone in attendance lined up after Mass for a blessing this morning. We sang all four verses of the recessional hymn. The blessings started when we started singing, and when I got downstairs from the choir loft the line was still to the back of the last row of pews. It was an awesome sight!

  11. Traductora says:

    Mine was bizarre. The priest who celebrated the mass (the pastor) announced that he would say the blessing, and for those “superstitious people who didn’t feel they had gotten the blessing unless the candle touched them,” there would be a blessing in the Blessed Sacrament chapel. People were aware that this was going to be the procedure, since it had been announced in the bulletin, but they were completely taken aback by the “superstitious” part. It was insulting and in fact wounding, and people were staring at each other in amazement that he should have said something like this. (Those who did go to the Blessed Sacrament chapel, not caring that they had been labeled “superstitious,” found that the priest had already left the chapel by the time they got there from the back of the church.) So much for sacramentals.

    And this man, btw, is the director of liturgy for the diocese.

  12. St. Louis IX says:

    I had my throat blessed by a Catholic Priest,kneeling at the Altar rail. Directly after our Holy Traditional Latin Mass.
    Deo Gratias

  13. mamajen says:

    I chose not to this year because the queue was long and I wasn’t feeling well after mass. I thought it was interesting, though, to see everyone kneel at the altar rail to be blessed–why can’t we use it for communion, too?? It looked like the vast majority of mass attendees did partake. It’s always been popular in this area.

  14. St. Louis IX says:

    DEAR mamajen
    Attend a Traditional Latin Mass, and wait in the quiet of your heart for our Lord every Mass at the rail.

  15. PA mom says:

    Received the blessing at the end of Mass, given to everyone at once, no candles. Not sure if candles were offered at another time.

  16. mamajen says:

    St. Louis IX:

    Unfortunately mass options are very limited in my area. However, I was fortunate to grow up in a parish that did use the altar rail (even though it was a Novus Ordo mass), so I do know how much nicer it is. For now I am holding out hope that things will eventually change for the better.

  17. greasemonkey says:

    I was shocked to see that in the Ordo for the OF liturgy it said that the blessing could be given by a lay person.
    I thought this type of nonsence was under control.

  18. Darren says:

    At Mater Ecclesiae, after Traditional Latin Mass… throats were individually blessed by Father, with each of us kneeling at the communion rail to receive the blessing.

    Just as St. Louis IX has stated in his comment.

  19. Mike says:

    Father blessed everyone’s throats individually after mass at the altar rail and after the blessing in the sacristy I blessed father’s throat as there were no priests other than him present.

  20. Lepidus says:

    By a priest – but as a general blessing before the end of Mass. Actually, it replaced the final blessing…probably not the correct place for it, but then again this is the same priest that starts the Orate Fratres with “let us rise and pray that the gifts we bring to the altar, our lives, our financial support of the parish may be acceptable to God our loving creator”. So the fact the blessing was said with the proper words should be a surprise.

  21. catholicmidwest says:

    I see quite a few people are saying that they got the blessing from the priest all together at Mass, but with no candles. It was the same at my parish. In the past, this has been an occasion of some confusion & frustration with lay ministers and the like. I wonder if some priests are just removing that difficulty by giving the blessing without the parallel lines and candles and all that?

    I like getting the blessing with the candles, but I’m willing to bypass the troubles, if this is what it takes. In the past, I’ve seen some silly abuses around this.

  22. thoscole says:

    At my parish, Father ended the prayers of the faithful our Latin Novus Ordo with the formula of the blessing, but in a general manner for all at once; no individual blessing with candles.

  23. Blessed by a priest after Mass using the proper formula…at the altar rail.

  24. APX says:

    Had it after mass done by a priest. We also had wine, water, fruit and bread blessed after mass under the intercession of st Blaise.

  25. rmshiffler says:

    I said “Yes, my throat was something or othered by a lay person,” but we were actually “something or othered” by the deacon, who said kinda-sorta the same thing as the prayer above, but only part of it, and in his own words. Not sure if that counted?

  26. Angie Mcs says:

    This was my first experience at having my throat blessed, and it held a personal, healing meaning for me. There were two lines, with the priests holding crossed candles and saying the shorter prayer. I was near the front of a line – they became quite long in no time!

  27. JuliaSaysPax says:

    Blessed by a priest, but not individually. He did the entire congregation at once. I do believe that those at an earlier Mass had individual blessings though…

  28. Will D. says:

    Depending on which line you were in at my parish, you could get priest, deacon or laywoman. I chose Father’s line, but was impressed to see the deacon held his hand with the first two fingers outstretched and the others curled back in the iconic manner.

    At my mother’s parish, the Monsignor gave a general blessing, but stayed after mass to give individual blessings to those who wanted one.

  29. NoraLee9 says:

    My family had our throats blessed by a Catholic Priest, kneeling at the Altar rail, after Holy Traditional Latin Mass.
    Deo Gratias

  30. Kerry says:

    Kneeling, at the altar rail, by the Priest, with candles, in Latin, following the Latin Mass.

  31. mpolo says:

    I gave the blessing after the closing prayer of Sunday Mass. I had forgotten how much time this blessing takes, though – the organist played the closing song during the blessing and went home (apparently), and by the time we were finished, I only had about ten people left in the church for the dismissal. Maybe I should have had the dismissal before the blessing. (It’s still a little exaggerated that people can’t stick around, seeing as the Mass even with the blessing clocked in at 1 hour, 10 minutes…)

    This was in Germany, where the St. Blaise blessing is done with LIT candles. The parish where I was didn’t even have something to catch the wax, so I kind of held the candles in front of the person’s neck as I gave the blessing, not wanting to drip on anybody. (Or set hair on fire.)

  32. Cam says:

    We had the blessing at the altar rail too, before Mass started. My four year old was incredibly excited to go up and kneel and be blessed… I think she crossed herself four times during the blessing she was so giddy… Although then she thought it meant she was big enough to receive the Eucharist…

  33. JonPatrick says:

    We also received the blessing individually at the altar rail using the crossed candles and the traditional Latin form of the prayer after Mass, at our TLM.

    My son who attended the Ordinary Form Mass at our territorial parish says they also received the blessing individually using the crossed candles.

  34. Ellen says:

    We had the crossed candles and the blessing was given individually by the priest and the men and women who were the Extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist. We have no deacon. The extraordinary ministers read the blessing, but didn’t extend their hands. There were a lot of people and it took a long time. I used that time to pray.

  35. bdouglass says:

    My throat was blessed by a seminarian who has acted as subdeacon before (I don’t believe that he has been ordained a deacon yet), he also used the proper form (unlike the priest), was vested in cassock and surplice, and seemed to know how to use the candles. I figured that a blessing from an orthodox cleric who could follow the rubrics was a pretty good break for what was a horrid Novus Ordo. (Boy Scout Sunday with two serverettes!?)

  36. Banjo pickin girl says:

    I, too, go to St. Pat’s Columbus. We had U-shaped candles on handles for the throat blessing. Probably this year too, I didn’t make it. Very cool. We do all the blessings and processions and indulgences and stuff.

  37. Lisa says:

    I received the blessing this year by a priest at the altar rail. I can’t remember a year when I haven’t had my throat blessed. When I attended a parochial Catholic school we had the blessing of the throat every single year. Last year my husband and daughter missed the blessing, and my husband ended up with strep throat twice and a very sore throat the day he defended his Licentiate thesis. My daughter also got strep throat for the first time, which turned into scarlet fever. I think we will make a point to all get the blessing every year from now on…

  38. Our Bishop presided yesterday, and the whole congregation received the special blessing all at once at the end of mass.

  39. Skeinster says:

    Like Frank H.
    Our parish had a Sung Mass for Candlemass, with procession and blessing of candles. I was not able to attend, as I do not drive at night, but a friend graciously took charge of my candles for me. We also have blessed candles from that Mass available for a small donation.

    Shamrock,we had a wonderful sermon on Sunday: Sacraments and Sacramentals- Compare and Contrast.
    We had the traditional blessing of throats after all Masses, but we have three priests, so it was not unduly long.
    St. Blaise is also the patron of wool-workers, so he is an obvious favorite of mine. He was tortured with wire combs that look like wool-picks, see? Like St. Lawrence, his gridiron and cooks. I love being a Catholic…

  40. MattnSue says:

    My throat, as well as my wife’s, was blessed individuallyby a priest, with candles. My parish had three lines. In the respective aisles were one priest, one seminarian, and one lay woman who was reading the prayer from an index card in one hand while the other held the candles. Luckily, I was seated near the center aisle so I did not have to make a spectacle of Lane Changing to get to the priest.

  41. Thom says:

    This was the first year I’ve ever had my throat blessed, or indeed have seen this at all.

    It was a crowded Sunday Mass, and the priest blessed every throat (with candles) – the line was enormous, but it went pretty quickly. It was glorious.

    Makes me wonder why we see the need for EMHCs at the same Mass, but I reckon you’ve got to go brick by brick!

  42. Fr AJ says:

    I’m sorry but I think that the laity doing throat “blessings” with candles is absurd. I know it’s permitted but I would never allow it in my parishes. I don’t care how long it would take to bless throats and if someone feels it’s impossible, there’s always the communal blessing. If I were a lay person, I’d sooner have no blessing Vs. a non-cleric wishing that I didn’t get anything wrong with my throat. Ugh. Talk about a visible confusion of roles. I think this is much worse than the use of EMHC’s. How many people walked away from Mass yesterday thinking that their throat was blessed by the lay person in just the same manner as the priest or deacon? And if anyone can bless in the manner of a cleric then why can’t they just read the words of consecration and confect the Eucharist? I think this is part of why we have a vocation problem. Again, I’m sorry but this confusion of roles drives me up the wall.

  43. marthawrites says:

    No individual blessing but one said from the altar for all the congregation at the close of Mass. No candles in sight.

  44. ladytatslace says:

    Usually Father blesses the individual throats with a pair of entwined candles, this year there was an unusual hurry for some reason and he gave a general blessing just after the end of the Mass but before the closing hymn.
    I missed the candles, but understand it is the blessing prayer more then the candles.
    He handed out blessed chalk at the beginning of the year. He is a young (40) priest who is a convert, he likes the older forms of sacramentals.

  45. lucy says:

    Yes, my throat was blessed by a priest after Mass, with his hand over my head as he read the blessing, and we were all kneeling at the Communion rail to receive this blessing.

  46. ajf1984 says:

    Blessing prayed=check.
    Our pastor who celebrated Mass prayed the prayer of blessing mentioned above over the entire congregation after the Dismissal, but we did not have the traditional “candles held in the form of an X” held up to each individual throat in what I assumed to be the standard practice.

  47. Matt R says:

    Funny story…I went out into the sanctuary before Mass to double-check what needed to be placed out there, and I saw two candles next to the chair. I then saw two candles on the altar which had been reduced to about an inch and a half of wax. I changed them out.
    Then, after the Post-Communion, the deacon went looking for candles, because there were supposed to be two sets of candles out. Alas, I was being overzealous in my duties as an altar boy.

  48. frahobbit says:

    If the general blessing counts…? First the priest promised to have us out by “halftime”. Later he in the homily he said that 50 years ago, empty churches were not an issue. Then he said that despite it being superbowl Sunday, there were too many to bless individually. I keep feeling like there was a thread of connection that I missed.

  49. fvhale says:

    Update: got blessed after daily mass this morning (Monday), by my parish priest, with candles. Yeah! I guess you could say it was “transferred to the following Monday.”

  50. Navarricano says:

    The Feast of St. Blaise (San Blas in Spanish) is quite a popular tradition here in Pamplona. Every year there is a procession with an image of the saint prior to Mass in the Church of St. Nicholas that is attended by representatives of the city government, a blessing with asperges and the veneration of a relic of St. Blaise in an 18th century reliquary at the end of the Mass. Curiously, there is also a blessing of food at this Mass, which is something I had never heard of before. I suppose this is because the child in the original story of was choking on a bone when he was saved by St. Blaise. The streets and the square outside the church, are lined with stand selling sweets and homemade pastries such as “roscones de San Blas” (kind of like a gigantic doughnut). It’s all quite lively and colorful.

  51. Fr. W says:

    I know a priest who gives the blessing of throats on Sunday every year near the feast of St. Blase, even if the feast does not fall on sunday. Is that acceptable?

  52. OrthodoxChick says:

    At our OF parish, we received the general fly-over Blessing at the end of Mass as well. No candles. I’ll be heading over to the EF parish next year!

  53. Justin_Kolodziej says:

    My OF parish had several lines, mostly Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. I went to Father’s line for the blessing, candles and all. Just like old times!

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