By Mary DeTurris Poust
It's the Feast of St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr. That can only mean one thing here at OSV Daily Take. It's time for me to pull out the old do-it-yourself throat blessing post for those people who can't getting a blessing at their own parish.
I'm not one to let such traditions go so easily. I've been known to hold candles up to the throats of my own kids or my faith formation students to give them the blessing they won't get otherwise. In fact, I've got a new set of white candles in arm's reach right now, just waiting for the kids to arrive home from school.
Don't worry. It's allowed.
Lay people may use 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:
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.
So if you, like me, cannot get a blessing at your parish church today, celebrate the feast with a parent-led blessing in your domestic church.