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