8 June 2015

First Blessings

What lovelier and more joyful occasions are there than Weddings, Ordinations, Professions?!

And what more striking a sight is there than that at the end of the Ordination, when the Pontiff kneels to receive the blessing of the man he has just ordained.

When a newly ordained priest "gives New Blessings" during the first six months after his Ordination, I do not believe that any particular form of words is prescribed. But the following is by widespread custom often used.

Per impositionem manuum mearum sacerdotalium et per intercessionem beatae Mariae semper Virginis, Sancti N et omnium Sanctorum, omni benedictione caelesti atque terrestri benedicat te Omnipotens Deus, Pater, et Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus. Amen.

[By the imposition of my priestly hands and by the intercession of Blessed Mary ever Virgin, S N and all the Saints, may God Almighty bless you with every blessing both heavenly and earthly, the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen.]

Here, in English, are the words which the Bishop had said during the Ordination as he anointed the hands of the Newly Ordained:
"Be pleased, O Lord, to consecrate and to sanctify these hands through this Anointing and our benediction ... that whatsoever they shall have blessed may be blessed, and whatsoever they shall have consecrated, may be consecrated and sanctified, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Notice that this prayer is made in the Name of the Incarnate Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. It can be instructive to read the Gospels and to notice the many occasions when our Lord's hands are referred to, either explicitly or implicitly. They are, Holy Mass twice reminds us, sanctae et venerabiles manus. The enfleshed Word did not heal and bless with the Word alone of His tongue, but also with Words of His hands; and at the Table, and upon the Altar of the Cross, He stretched out His hands to suffer and to offer; and displayed them, shot through with Resurrection glory, to His doubting followers.

3 comments:

Matthew Roth said...

One more reason to exclusively use the Roman Canon.

Peregrinus Toronto said...

An eloquent meditation upon our Lord and his priesthood which we are blessed to share, Father.
Thank you.

Pastor in Monte said...

Why six months after his ordination? I always understood it to be a year, and certainly after my ordination 25 years ago, I gave blessings on the last day of that year.