Saturday, October 11, 2014


Read and Compare: Rite of Blessing of Salt and Water

Below are the prayers for the blessing of water (which obviously will become Holy Water after it has been blessed by the priest. Compare and contrast.

1962 Rituale Romanum

Sign of the Cross
V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who has made heaven and earth.

(Then the priest continues:)

Salt made by God, I purge you of evil,
by the living God, by the true God, by the holy God,
by God who ordered by the mouth of the prophet Eliseus
that you be mixed with water to heal the latter's sterility.
Become now the salt of exorcism for the salvation of the faithful,
that all tasting you may receive health of soul and body.
From wherever you are sprinkled
let there flee away all appearance of devilish deceit,
and wickedness and cunning.
Let every unclean spirit be commanded by Him
who is to come to judge the living and the dead
and the world by fire.

R. Amen.

Almighty and everlasting God,
we humbly beg of Your measureless mercy to bless this salt
that You have made and given mankind to use.
Sanctify it in Your loving kindness,
so that all who partake of it may receive health of both mind and body.
Grant that whatever is touched or sprinkled by it
may be preserved from uncleanness,
and from every assault of the wicked foe,
through our Lord Jesus Christ.

R. Amen.

(Exorcism of the water. The priest says:)

Water made by God, I purge you, too, of evil,
in the name of God the Father almighty,
in the name of Jesus Christ His Son our Lord,
and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Become now water blessed to banish all power of the enemy,
and to conquer and dispel that enemy himself with his fallen angels,
by the power of the same Lord Jesus Christ,
who shall come to judge the living and the dead
and the world by fire.

R. Amen.

Let us pray.

O God, for the salvation of mankind
You have built Your greatest sacraments on this substance of water.
Give a kindly hearing to our prayers,
and pour out the power of Your blessing on this element,
now prepared for our many kinds of purifications.
Grant that this, Your creature,
may receive power by divine grace,
in serving Your mysteries,
to drive away evil spirits, and dispel diseases.
Grant that everything in the homes or other buildings of the faithful
that is sprinkled with this water
may be freed of all uncleanness,
and be freed from harm.
Let no harmful spirit abide here,
nor breath of corruption approach,
and may all the snares of our hidden enemy vanish.
If there be anything which threatens
either the health or the peace of those living there,
may the sprinkling of this water put it to flight.
Grant that the well-being sought by calling on Your holy name
may be defended from all attacks,
through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.

Let us pray.

O God, You are the origin of unshakable power,
the King of an unconquerable dynasty,
and a ruler ever magnificent in triumphs.
It is You that hold in check the forces of the hostile power,
You that vanquish the rage of the roaring foe,
You that scatter far and wide the snares of the enemy.
Trembling and bowing before You,
we ask of You and we beg, O Lord,
that You behold with favor this mixture of salt and water,
to regard it with kindness,
and to bless it with the breath of Your tireless love.
Grant that wherever it is sprinkled at the invocation of Your holy name,
the attacks of the unclean spirit may be banished,
and the fear of the fatal serpent be kept far away.
Let the presence of the Holy Spirit within us,
who humbly implore Your mercy,
be everywhere granted,
through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and is King and God with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.


This is from the New Rite of Blessing of Water (Collectio Rituum)

Sign of the Cross

Priest: May God who has given us a new birth in Christ by water and the Holy Spirit be with you all.
R: And also with you

The priest continues...

P: By this blessing of water, we recall the sacrament of baptism in which by water and the Holy Spirit we were reborn. Everytime we are sprinkled with this water or we use it in making the sign of the cross upon entering the church and in our prayer at home, we give thanks to God for his gifts beyond human telling and we implore his help so that we may live up to the sacrament which we have received by faith.

Reading from the Gospel according to John (7:37-39)

Prayer of Blessing
P: Let us pray. Lord, holy Father, look upon us who were redeemed though your Son and were reborn at the baptismal font and grant that those who would be sprinkled by this water may be renewed in body and mind and may offer you pure service through Christ our Lord together with the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.

If salt is added, the priest blesses the salt using the following prayer:
P: Almight God, we ask you to bless + this salt as once you blessed the salt scattered over the water by the prophet Elisha. Wherever this salt and water are sprinkled, drive away the power of evil and protect us always by the presence of your Holy Spirit. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

(He adds the salt to the water and sprinkles the water to the people as he says:
P: Let this water call to mind our baptism into Christ, who by his death and resurrectionhas redeemed us. Amen.


Vox Cantoris said...

Well, the late Cardinal Stickler referred to the new rite as making "Happy Water."

When one reads it carefully, one realises that the water is not blessed. The prayer is that we will be blest by using it.

Am I correct in my reading?

ALG Bass said...

Wow. The post-1962 rite is... limp.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

That is a problem with not only the new rite of blessing water but with many of the blessings in the Book of Blessing a particularly horrible set of prayers. What is blessed are those who are present and not the object that is being blessed. The same occurred last night at a wedding I had for the blessing of the rings. There are three choices and the one that the bride selected had only a blessing of the couple who would wear the rings but not of the rings themselves. Completely stupid, so I improvised!

The same is true of the blessing of the grave during the rite of committee, it isn't a blessing of the grave at all!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Rite of Committal (Freudian slip) it was a rite of committee that came up with the giraffe of revised blessing prayers.

John Nolan said...

Don't forget that the newer form of the Ritual is in effect an option - any priest may avail himself of the 1614 Rituale Romanum (my copy, a reprint of the 1944 edition with additions up to 1960 is in Latin only but is pocket-sized; the vernacular was of course permitted in the Rituale before it was allowed in the Mass).

There is widespread dissatisfaction with the new ritual books; their validity is accepted, but their efficacy is questioned. Every priest to whom I have spoken is disparaging of the 'Book of Blessings' (De Benedictionibus) which doesn't actually bless anything.

It is impossible to evaluate the efficacy of a sacrament, but there is a sacramental whose effects can be clearly seen. I refer to the Rite of Exorcism. When this was revised in 1998 exorcists complained that the new form didn't work properly, and so Cardinals Medina and Ratzinger told them to continue with the rite of 1614. Apart from anything else, the first chapter of the older rite gives detailed instructions to exorcists; section 19 outlines the procedures to be followed if the possessed person is a woman. This was dropped from the revised version, so it is hardly surprising that at least one priest has left himself open to allegations of sexual misconduct.

Incidentally, this was a major error in the film 'The Exorcist'. When it was made the older rite was still in use, and women (preferably relatives) would have been present. Under no circumstances would the older priest have been left alone with the girl.

JBS said...

Since the new ritual permits the adaptation of most of its "blessings", I suggest that priests adapt each one back to the older rite.

People from surrounding counties bring me jugs of water to bless for them, and they do so simply because I use the older rite.

Robert Kumpel said...

Gee Father, where did you get the idea for THIS post?

And, by the way, thank you again.

Anonymous said...

Gene....which Monty Python bit is this pic from?

Anonymous said...

If there isn't already a bit called "The Blessing od the Salt", there should be.