Thursday, February 07, 2013

Feast of St Blaise: blessing of candles and throats

The ceremony of the blessing of two candles, and the blessing of throats, can be performed on 3rd February, in honour of St Blaise. I love these sacramentals; it is certainly a good time of year for our throats to be blessed. It deserves to be better known; the English translation is as follows.

Priest:    Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R/          Who made heaven and earth.
V/           The Lord be with you.
R/          And with you.
           Let us pray.
Almighty God, so good towards us, who by thy Word alone didst create the world and all things in it; whose will it was that that same Word by whom all things were made should become in­carnate to make mankind anew; who art great and whose greatness knows no bounds; who art to be feared and still art worthy of all praise; who canst do things past all our comprehension; the glorious martyr and bishop St Blaise openly declared the faith he had from thee, and, fearless in the face of torture, happily won from thee the palm of martyr­dom. Thou didst give him many graces in return; and among them one which was to be for him alone; that he might bring relief by thy power from all diseases of the throat. We beg thy majesty, there­fore, not to regard our guilty lives but to be appeas­ed by his merits and prayers, and in thy goodness to + bless and +  sanctify this wax which thou hast created, and to infuse into it thy grace; that through the merits of his sufferings all whose necks this wax shall touch may be freed, if they have faith in thee, from every disease of the throat. Healthy and happy again, may they thank thee in thy holy Church, and praise thy glorious Name, that Name which is blessed for ever. Through Christ our Lord.
R/    Amen.

He sprinkles the candles with holy water.
Then the priest, holding two candles in the form of a cross touches each person in turn on the throat, beneath the chin, as they kneel before the Altar, saying meanwhile:

Through the intercession of St Blaise, Bishop and Martyr, may God keep you free from all harm to your throat, and from all other harm besides. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Ghost.
R/    Amen.

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