Here's the question of the day, and I'll be expecting to hear back from you in our comment section: Is your parish or school offering the Blessing of Throats today, the Feast of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr?
I ask this because my parish in upstate New York does not offer this traditional Catholic blessing, which, when I was growing up, ranked right up there with ashes. My mother would no sooner miss taking us to get our throats blessed than she would miss her own father's funeral. It was considered non-negotiable in my family. So tell me, is it just my section of the country or state that has let this tradition fade into oblivion, or is this happening all over?
My children, who attend Catholic school, have never had their throats blessed, but that will change tonight. A priest friend of mine (who still offers throat blessings in the Diocese of Metuchen, N.J.) emailed me to tell me that I can do the blessing myself using the following prayer from the Book of Blessings (Roman Ritual):
1634. A lay minister, touching 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 Blaise, bishop and
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:
And before you take issue with the idea of just anyone serving as a "lay minister," be assured that the Book of Blessings states clearly that "other laymen and laywomen, in the virtue of the universal priesthood, a dignity they possess because of their baptism and confirmation," may perform certain blessings, including this one. The book specifically cites parents acting on behalf of their children, so I'm in the clear.