Thursday, January 01, 2009

Now THAT's how you bless stuff

When my friends and I were up in Sacramento at the FSSP parish, Diep decided to buy half the bookstore's stock of olive oil (it had the St. Stephen's label on it). She took the box of a dozen bottles to the sacristy and set it on a table for Father to bless. He found the book of old-school blessings, all of them in Latin-- the FSSP performs all the rites as they were done before the updates of the 1960's. The blessing for oil was quite long and it took him a while to read it; then when he was finally done he sprinkled holy water on the bottles and looked up with the beginnings of a grin on his face. "That's quite a blessing," he said. He read us the English translation, which began, "Thou creature of oil, I purge thee of evil," and continued, "Let the adversary's power, the devil's legions, and all Satan's attacks and phantoms be dispelled and driven afar from this oil..."

After all that, we can hardly use it for any mundane frying!

The feast of St. John the Apostle arrived on December 27, and we learned that there's an old custom of blessing wine after Mass, with a special blessing that's only allowed to be said on that particular day. (There's a story that St. John once drank poisoned wine without any harm; that's where the custom comes from.) I don't know if any NO parishes still do this, but the FSSP does. The wine blessing was even longer than the oil blessing; I think you can find it here but I'm not positive since it was in Latin. We took a big bottle of blessed wine home and drank it together on New Year's Eve. I haven't acquired the taste for red wine so I sort of had to choke down my half glass. It gave me warm fuzzies. I promptly fell asleep at the table. But I'm sure I was granted spiritual gladness and every other nice thing the priest asked for in the blessing. :)


Anonymous said...

Great post! Yes, we are blessed to have Priests willing to use the weapons Holy Mother Church gives us. We certainly need them.

Joe of St. Thérèse said...