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Blessing
Religious
Articles

Paul Turner
Many Catholics like to use religious articles. Medals, crucifixes, statues, pictures, scapulars, rosaries, and other items made from common elements may be set aside for religious use. They are usually obtained from dealers of church goods, but they may also be fashioned at home by hand. Some religious articles are hung on the wall at home, at school, or at work. Others are worn beneath or on top of clothing. It is customary for such articles to be blessed by a deacon or a priest.

Religious articles can be a means of evangelization. They depict a symbol of the faith that Catholics hold. They prompt discussion about biblical figures and events as well as the holy people who have kept the faith throughout history. Many Catholics carry religious articles with them as a reminder of God’s presence or to seek divine protection. A blessing sets the articles apart for this sacred purpose.

The blessing of religious articles may take place during liturgical prayer. People bring articles with them to church, where the celebrant introduces the service. A Scripture reading is proclaimed. For example, in Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians, he says, “All of us, gazing with unveiled face on the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, as from the Lord who is the Spirit” (cf. 3:17b—4:2). Intercessions are made, and the celebrant concludes with a blessing over the objects and the people.

Alternatively, the priest or deacon may say a very short formula apart from a liturgical service: “May this (name of article) and the one who uses it be blessed, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit.” ML

For additional bulletin insert resources, try Index of Bulletin Inserts

Or, order the CD containing 160 bulletin insert resources in two volumes, as seen on the ML Bulletin Inserts page.

What do YOU Think?
Send an e-mail to ML Editor or post an entry on the ML Current Issue Discussion Board. (All submissions become the property of RPI and may be edited for length.)

This bulletin insert originally appeared in Ministry & Liturgy, a pastoral planning resource used by the worship leaders in your parish as an aid for better liturgy. Copyright © 2006, Resource Publications, Inc. 160 E. Virginia St. #290, San Jose, CA 95112, (408) 286-8505. This article may not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher.  For permission e-mail info@rpinet.com.
Paul Turner, pastor of St. Munchin Parish in Cameron, MO, holds a doctorate in sacramental theology from Sant' Anselmo University in Rome. Comment online at ML Current Issue Discussion. Clip art by Helen St. Paul.

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