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Thursday, February 04, 2016

One of These Things Is NOT Like the Other

 Did you ever wonder why laypersons get asked to perform a blessing of throats on the (or at least near) Feast of St. Blaise? Here you go - from The Book of Blessings:

PRAYER OF BLESSING
1647 A minister who is a priest or deacon touches the throat of each person with the crossed candles and says the prayer of blessing. Through the intercession of Saint Blase, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from every other illness:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit. [The “+” indicates that the priest or deacon makes the sign of the Cross.]
Each person responds: Amen.
During the blessing suitable psalms or other suitable songs may be sung.


1648 A lay minister touches the throat of each person with the crossed candles and, without making the sign of the cross, says the prayer of blessing. Through the intercession of Saint Blase, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from every other illness:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Each person responds: Amen.
1649 After receiving the blessing each person may depart.

I agree with Father Z.:
 
In the final analysis, we have to accept that the efficacy of blessings depends on the authority and authoritative prayers of the Church.
Furthermore, the efficacy of the blessing must rely in large part on the will, disposition and desire of the recipient.  What is received is received according to the mode, manner, capacity of the one receiving it.
IMPORTANT: The St. Blaise Day blessing isn’t efficacious because of the candles.  This isn’t magic.
In sum, there is a difference between what Father does and what lay people do, even when imparting the St. Blaise blessing.  I think Holy Orders matters.
What that difference is…. I don’t know.
But … if it were up to me … I’d pass by the laywoman and get into the priest’s line.