ASK FATHER: St. Blaise blessing of throats on a different day? And MORE on Blaise blessings!

From a reader…


Some of us have a hard time getting to Mass on Feb 3rd for the Saint Blaise throat blessing with the candles.

Would it be okay for a priest to give that blessing on another day?

Frankly, I can’t think of a reason why a priest couldn’t give that blessing on, say 2 February, or 4 February, or 4 July, or some other time, if needed.

I like things tidy and I think that the calendar is important.  But, a greater good than sticking only to 3 February as the sole day for that blessing is that people receive the blessing.  Remember that the traditional Rituale Romanum itself says that it is intended as a starting point for practice and even local rituals.   Since I seriously doubt that it is an easy matter to come up with something better than what the Rituale provides, just stick to it.

It is best that you make the effort to get it on St. Blaise Day, since that is the day prescribed.  However, well… get it when you can.

Let’s review the blessing for the candles.

God, almighty and all-mild, by your Word alone you created the manifold things in the world, and willed that that same Word by whom all things were made take flesh in order to redeem mankind; you are great and immeasurable, awesome and praiseworthy, a worker of marvels. Hence in professing his faith in you the glorious martyr and bishop, Blaise, did not fear any manner of torment but gladly accepted the palm of martyrdom. In virtue of which you bestowed on him, among other gifts, the power to heal all ailments of the throat. And now we implore your majesty that, overlooking our guilt and considering only his merits and intercession, it may please you to bless + and sanctify + and impart your grace to these candles. Let all men of faith whose necks are touched with them be healed of every malady of the throat, and being restored in health and good spirits let them return thanks to you in your holy Church, and praise your glorious name which is blessed forever; through Christ our Lord.


So, that is the prayer for the blessing, which must be done in Latin.  Remember, in 1962 we still had to use Latin for blessings of objects.  Latin.  Not Weller’s English.  Latin.

How about the blessing of throats?

The Rituale says that the priest holds these candles in the form of a cross under the chin and against the throat of each person who are kneeling before the altar.

He says, in Latin, “Per intercessionem Sancti Blasii, Episcopi et Martyris, liberet te Deus a malo gutturis et a quolibet alio malo. In nomine… Through the intersession of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God preserve you from throat troubles and every other evil. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

But wait!  There’s more.

Did you know that there is yet another thing to bless on St. Blaise Day?

On 3 February Father can also bless bread, wine, water and fruit.

Here is the English

God, Savior of the world, who consecrated this day by the martyrdom of blessed Blaise, granting him among other gifts the power of healing all who are afflicted with ailments of the throat; we humbly appeal to your boundless mercy, begging that these fruits, bread, wine, and water brought by your devoted people be blessed + and sanctified + by your goodness. May those who eat and drink these gifts be fully healed of all ailments of the throat and of all maladies of body and soul, through the prayers and merits of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr. We ask this of you who live and reign, God, forever and ever.

So, you can take some fruit, bread, wine and water… good things for a person who isn’t feeling well, to church for a special blessing.   Here is the Latin.  Father has to use Latin, not English.  Latin.  You can get the Rituale online at this site, very handy for resources.  HERE

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Josephus Corvus says:

    I wonder about the means of the blessing itself. It seems pretty clear that the candles are placed around the throat of the individual. I’m sure that if we have the blessing at our parish, it will be tomorrow (at Sunday Mass) and it will be done immediately after Communion with the priest holding up the candle for an all-at-once blessing.

  2. L. says:

    I’d be interested to know your views about Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion administering the throat blessing. [Seriously? By now you can’t guess?  o{]:¬)  ] This occurs at a local parish of which I know. Since EMHC’s should not (but often do) bless people who approach for a blessing in the Communion line, one would think that throat blessing would be right out.

  3. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Well, I’m sure a priest _can_ bless just by holding up a candle and saying the prayer. But geez, how parsimonious. Is there a time limit or something?

    The whole point of sacramental gestures is that they teach us and interact with us. They make God’s grace and a saint’s intercession physically perceived and remembered, not just seeming theoretical.

    Our Lord Jesus Christ surely could have healed the blind man by just saying something about it from a distance. But instead he made mud and rubbed it on the guy’s eyelids. It wasn’t something necessary for Him; it was helpful for us.

  4. Amerikaner says:

    Why do some priests in the NO allow lay men to assist with the blessing of the throats? since in that case its just a normal prayer and not a blessing, one could just as easily take candles and recite the prayer on oneself. The whole loss of the understanding of what a blessing is is sad.

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  6. kat says:

    Our priests will give the blessing on St. Blaise’s feast, and then on the following Sunday as well for those who cannot attend on Feb 3.

  7. Father, can you please run again the picture you once posted of the apparatus that is used to hold the candles for the blessing of throats?

  8. Ave Maria says:

    I attended a novus ordo mass this morning with my adult son. The priest is a convert from Protestantism and so the guitar mass only features very loud protestant songs (so loud I put my fingers in my ears after Communion). Anyway….father gave a blanket blessing of throats from the altar today in advance of the Feast of St. Blaise.

    Luckily I will obtain the regular blessing of a throat tomorrow on the feast day.

  9. bobbird says:

    So … just how efficacious is a laity’s blessing of throats? The presumption ought to be … null and void?

    [I think it is fair to say that it is not nothing. But is it what a priest does? NO.]

  10. Cincinnati Priest 2 says:

    Not a fan of administering the blessing on any day except Feb. 3rd. Would be a little bit like administering ashes on the Thursday after Ash Wednesday. I suppose it could be done, but why?

    [Ooops. One is a blessing and the other is not.]

  11. Josephus Corvus says:

    I was partially incorrect in what I assumed would happen this morning. It was still and all-at-once blessing, but no candles were involved.

  12. Volanges says:

    Because Fr. is heading to India early tomorrow morning, and there will be no Mass, he did the Blessing of Throats this morning after the Homily. Not a mass blessing but one by one, until everyone had received the blessing.

  13. Pingback: Feast of St. Blaise | Catholic Canada

  14. Pingback: 3 February: St. Blaise Day and the special blessings of candles and of throats | Fr. Z's Blog

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