Blessings for important things and things for everyday use

The traditional Roman Ritual has wonderful blessings for all sorts of things we use in our daily life, things and places not designated specifically for sacred purposes.  For example, you can get your grapes blessed, along with your airplanes, mountain climbing equipment, seismographs, sick beds and linens for the sick, and your molten metal (intended for bells).

My friend the mighty PP of Margate, His Hermeneuticalness Fr. Tim Finigan, has a post about blessing a car.

I should interject here that when I bless cars they are often thereafter involved in an accident.  I always warn people about that.  One time, however, a lady came back to me and said: “Imagine how bad it would have been if you hadn’t blessed it!”

The blessings in the Ritual will often be quite poetic, drawing on images and events from Scripture.  The blessing of a car mentions how the Ethiopian Eunuch was tooling along in his chariot when he ran into the Philip the Deacon (cf Acts 8).

The blessing for a fire engine mentions that the youths were unscathed in the fiery furnace (cf Daniel 3).  The blessing for a generator uses Ps 91: His lightnings illumine the world; the earth sees and trembles.

I once used the blessing for mountain climbing equipment for the hardware that went into a knee replacement.

Check out Fr. Finigan’s post.  He even mentions my old friend and teacher, the Latinist Fr. Reginald Foster.

In Italy a few times I stood along the street and blessed cars on the Feast of St. Rita.  I wonder if there was a sharp spike in accidents that day.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    The Byzantine Catholic Church blesses cars on the Feast of St. Elijah (because of the flaming chariot).

  2. APX says:

    Should cars be re-blessed after awhile? I got my car blessed when I first got it a few years ago, and it seemed the blessing was really having an effect on things. Now I keep getting into car accidents.

  3. Jerome Vincent says:

    An earnest question, actually — I run a big public pool in the summer and would really like to have it blessed before the season starts (for next year, at this point). Heaven knows, a pool needs it.

    I see in the Rituale there’s the Blessing of a Well, which seems the closest to a pool. (And given our 50-year-old pump room, I kinda like the Well-Blessing’s reference to pipes!) Is that too much of a stretch, so that it’d be more proper/decent/becoming just to use the general blessing of a place? Or is this one for the “sure-can’t-hurt” file?

    I’d ask my priest the same question beforehand, I suppose, but am genuinely curious about your opinions here — or perhaps there’s even a little-known Benedictio Colymbi Publici in some ancient footnote that I’m unaware of …

  4. RafqasRoad says:

    What blessing would you suggest for a guide dog and handler? Fr. of our local NO parish blessed myself and guide dog within the first few days of our pairing whilst still in training. I would very much like to supplement this blessing over the course of my time with her (Nyssa the black Labrador) at the six and twelve month marks, subsequently at our year graduation anniversary. Additionally, I would very much like to acquire a book of blessings containing those you have mentioned (and others) to have on hand for a priest to use when he visits to bless the house, vegetable gardens and one ailing fruit tree (need to book in another house blessing; it has been over a year now). Fr. came up with a spontanious prayer to bless Nyssa and I as a working guide dog team but thankfully, god has heard this prayer and Nyssa’s the best guide dog I have had in over twenty years (benefiting I am sure from much calling upon the intercession of St. Roc, please excuse spelling). Now, all she needs to learn to do is sit through an adoration hour and mass without whimpering at the hour and ten mark, though she is becoming more patient.

    As far as I am aware, there are a couple of guide dog users who comment here from time to time, so a blessing for us would be a lovely gift if there is a formal one to be had in the Roman Ritual.

  5. WYMiriam says:

    “The blessing of a car mentions how the Ethiopian Eunuch was tooling along in his chariot when he ran into the Philip the Deacon (cf Acts 8).”

    The eunuch’s chariot and Philip must both have been blessed beforehand, because (thankfully) nobody got hurt!!

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