ACTION ITEM! East Coast BISHOPS, PRIESTS: Pray the Litany against Hurricane #DORIAN

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Hurricane Dorian is out there.   My mother lives along the eastern coast of Florida. Hence, I’m paying attention to the track.  It’s hard to say where it’ll go, but it isn’t going to be fun even if it doesn’t make landfall.

So, I have an action item for you believing priests and bishops out there.   With confidence we can pray the prayers which the Church has designated against storms.

I believe what the Church believes.  Do you?


BISHOPS OF THE EAST COAST: Stand on the steps of your respective cathedral churches, dressed in cope and miter and, surrounded by clergy, with crosiers in hand, pronounce from the traditional Rituale Romanum the Litany of Saints with the deprecatory prayers against storms.  [below]   Ring the cathedral bells.  You all talk to each other: perhaps coordinate your timing.

I know that in every chancery at least one person reads this blog, probably more.  Readers, especially if you know your bishops personally, ask them to do this.

PRIESTS OF THE EAST COAST: Ditto.  Also, if you have blessed bells, ring the bells of your churches against the storm.  Bells are sacramentals.  They are “baptized” and given names.  They speak.  In valleys of mountainous countries, as storms approached, people would ring the bells and pray the Litany.  That’s one of the reasons why we have consecrated bells!

PEOPLE OF THE EAST COAST: Get on your priests about this.  The prayers of priests and bishop are powerful.  Also, ask your holy angels to protect you and to help you make prudent decisions.

Fathers, Bishops…

Use the old Roman Ritual (yes, the traditional book – you can do it! – it’s the real deal!) and pray the Litany with the deprecatory prayers against storms. A procession could be done around the grounds of the cathedral or even indoors… even with a very few.

You don’t have to be directly in the line of the storm to pray for others!

PROCESSION FOR AVERTING TEMPEST [Better in Latin, but here is the English from Sancta Missa.]

The church bells are rung, and all who can assemble in church. Then the Litany of the Saints is said, during which – at the right moment, namely, after the invocation, “That you grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed, etc.”, the following invocation is said twice:

From lightning and tempest, Lord, deliver us.

At the end of the litany the following is added:

P: Our Father (the rest inaudibly until:)
P: And lead us not into temptation.
All: But deliver us from evil.
Psalm 147
P: Glorify the Lord, O Jerusalem; * praise your God, O Sion.
All: For He has strengthened the bars of your gates; * He has blessed your children within you.
P: He has granted peace in your borders; * with the best of wheat He fills you.
All: He sends forth His command to the earth; * swiftly runs His word!
P: He spreads snow like wool; * He strews frost like ashes.
All: He scatters His hail like crumbs; * the waters freeze before His cold.
P: He sends His word and melts them; * He lets His breeze blow and the waters run.
All: He has proclaimed His word to Jacob, * His statutes and His ordinances to Israel.
P: He has not done thus for any other nation; * He has not made known His ordinances to them.
All: Glory be to the Father.
P: As it was in the beginning.
P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who made heaven and earth.
P: Lord, show us your mercy.
All: And grant us your salvation.
P: Help us, O God, our Savior.
All: And deliver us, O Lord, for your name’s sake.
P: Let the enemy have no power over us.
All: And the son of iniquity be powerless to harm us.
P: May your mercy, Lord, remain with us always.
All: For we put our whole trust in you.
P: Save your faithful people, Lord.
All: Bless all who belong to you.
P: You withhold no good thing from those who walk in sincerity.
All: Lord of hosts, happy the men who trust in you.
P: Lord, heed my prayer.
All: And let my cry be heard by you.
P: The Lord be with you.
All: And with your spirit.

Let us pray.
God, who are offended by our sins but appeased by our penances, may it please you to hear the entreaties of your people and to turn away the stripes that our transgressions rightly deserve.

We beg you, Lord, to repel the wicked spirits from your family, and to ward off the destructive tempestuous winds.

Almighty everlasting God, spare us in our anxiety and take pity on us in our abasement, so that after the lightning in the skies and the force of the storm have calmed, even the very threat of tempest may be an occasion for us to offer you praise.

Lord Jesus, who uttered a word of command to the raging tempest of wind and sea and there came a great calm; hear the prayers of your family, and grant that by this sign of the holy cross all ferocity of the elements may abate.

Almighty and merciful God, who heal us by your chastisement and save us by your forgiveness; grant that we, your suppliants, may be heartened and consoled by the tranquil weather we desire, and so may ever profit from your gracious favors; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.
He sprinkles the surroundings with holy water.

Bishops, priests!

You don’t have to advertise this or call in the TV cameras (though that would be great, too).  JUST DO IT.

‘CMON!  What do you have to lose?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Kathleen10 says:

    You know Fr. Z., you’ve got real tenacity. Thank you and God bless you for encouraging actual Catholicism. These Catholic actions are what brought me into the church, these things were something Catholics could count on. People need it even more today, and they’ll respond to it just as before if only Bishops and priests will only do it.

  2. GypsyMom says:

    Oh, finally, Fr. Z!! I’ve been waiting a week for you to post this request! We just returned home from taking our son to college in Florida, and the threat of the hurricane hung over the whole trip. We didn’t know if we would make it home or be stranded by the storm. I prayed the prayer against storms from the Pieta Prayer Book over and over, asking for the hurricane to stay out at sea. We lay people need to do what we can do, as well, even if our prayers aren’t as powerful as those of priests and bishops.

  3. Argument Clinician says:

    Thanks for this! I’m a (new) priest who had read on these pages some time ago about the existence of such a prayer against storms in the Ritual. When I looked through my copy recently on the occasion of a storm passing through and setting off the sirens, I couldn’t find the exact section of Ritual where the prayer is found. Got it now! Title X, “De Processionibus”, for those who would like the citation. I’ll use it next time. Thanks again, Father Z.

  4. PostCatholic says:

    Does it work? How often?

    “Our God,” some say, “is immutable.”
    And indeed, their logic’s irrefutable:
    When He does what He should,
    It’s because “He is God;”
    when not, “His ways are inscrutable.”

  5. PostCatholic says:

    Does it work? How often?

    “Our God,” some say, “is immutable.”
    And indeed, their logic’s irrefutable:
    When He does what He should,
    It’s because “He is g0od;”
    when not, “His ways are inscrutable.”

  6. veritas vincit says:

    Is there no prayer against storms in the current Rituale Romanum? My suspicion is that if it’s not in the current Rituale, many if not most bishops and priests won’t do it.

    In any case, I’m sure any prayers against Hurricane Dorian, especially by bishops and priests, will be effective. The hurricane is currently pounding the Bahamas, but maybe with enough prayer it will veer out to sea away from Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.

  7. Mightnotbeachristiantou says:

    As it looks like Florida will be spared, we need to be charitable to the islands that were hit and we need Catholic charities to donate money, time and items. Smaller the better.

  8. Nicholas says:


    Could this be prayed against an approaching wildfire, or is there some litany which is more appropriate?

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