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Book of Blessings: Approved for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (Roman Ritual) [Hardcover]

By Catholic Church (Corporate Author)
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Item Number 140233  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   799
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 10.86" Width: 7.44" Height: 2.13"
Weight:   3.65 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2000
Publisher   Liturgical Press
ISBN  0814618758  
EAN  9780814618752  

Availability  0 units.

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Item Description...
This edition of the Book of Blessings contains the approved English translation of De Benedictionibus prepared by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), as well as the forty-two orders and prayers of blessingprepared by the Committee on the Liturgy of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and approved for use in the dioceseof the United States of America.

Publishers Description

Every blessing the Church can impart is included in this ritual, as is information for the priest on appropriate settings for the blessings and background information. Although intended primarily for use by the priest and deacon, the book opens to qualified lay people the imparting of certain blessings in special circumstances. Approved for use in dioceses of the United States. Two-color printing and two ribbon markers.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
INTENDED FOR PARISH USE BY ORDAINED CLERGY; don't try this at home  Nov 5, 2007
This excellent source for various blessings finds its best and most canonically appropriate usage in the hands of ordained clergy rather than the layperson. In this way it resembles such liturgical works as the Lectionary and the full Roman Missal, books which would find little valid and appropriate application within the family. A far more useful book for the home is of course the excellent new edition of the Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers.

The Scriptural passages quoted in this 800 page source of various Catholic Blessings published by the Benedictines of the Liturgical Press in Collegeville MN in 1989 come from the New American Bible with Revised New Testament published by the CCD in 1986. Other sources are the various rituals and books of prayer from the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), as well as the 1973 edition of the Roman Missal.

The Blessings are divided into six parts, plus appendices for the installation of a pastor and of solemn blessings and prayers over the people. I often wonder whether some reviewers have seen completely a text, as we read reviews here which both lament the absence of blessings for objects, and those who find too many. Kindly permit me therefore to as briefly as possible sum up the enormous wealth of blessing herein contained.

Part One contains blessings for persons including various blessings for families, from engagement through elderly confined at home, including childbirth and miscarriage and adoption, as well as for children, sons and daughters. Also herein are found blessings for substance abusers and the addicted, for missionaries and for catechesis of various forms, for students and for Teachers, for interfaith and ecumenical gatherings, for organizations serving public needs, for departing and returning Pilgrims and for other travellers.

Part Two handles Building and other human activities, including new building sites, new homes, schools, seminaries, religious houses, libraries, parish halls, hospitals, offices, shops, factories, gyms and fields, transportation, boats and fishing (one thinks of New Bedford's fleets), tech equipment, tools, animals, fields and flocks, seeds, harvest thanksgiving, athletic events (one thinks of Texas) and meals.

The third Part covers Objects in the Church, including the Font, Lectern, Tabernacle, Chair, Doors, Bells, Organ, the Public Cross, the publicly displayed Images of Our Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary and other saints, the chalice and paten, other articles of liturgical use, Holy Water outside of Mass, the Stations of the Cross and of the cemetery.

The fourth part includes other articles of devotion not directly connected to the Church and eucharistic liturgy, including the Rosary mentioned in another review, religious articles and scapulars, including their conferral. The fifth Part covers Feasts and Seasons, including the Advent Wreath (for this see also the Catholic Household Blessings book mentioned above), the Creche, the Christmas tree, homes at Easter and Christmas, throats on the Feast of Saint Blase (Feb. 3), Ashes for Ash Wednesday, Saint Joseph's table for March 19, the first Easter Meal, mothers at Mother's Day and fathers on Fathers Day, the cemetery at All Soul's Day (Nov. 2), Thanksgiving Day (once a semi-secular national holiday), and other prayers of devotion of food, drink and other "elements."

Part Six includes other and various needs and occassions, including pastoral service, Lectors, altar servers, etc., extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist, Parish Council, Parish Societies, New Parishioners, Departing parishioners, inauguration of public officials, Thanksgiving and other various circumstances.

As you can see this 800 page ritual is very comprehensive, and nearly exclusively at the valid use of the ordained. There are adaptations for lay ministers, nevertheless, inclding the consistent alteration of the prayer "The Lord Be With You" which many in the laity are not aware are the exclusive prayers of the ordained priests and deacons. Even religious sisters do not invoke validly this blessing. Thus we read here in place of, for example, "The grace and peace of God, Our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all" with the response "And also with you", we read the lay minister must read not this but as follows:

"The grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with US all now and forever." with the simple response "Amen." as it is not allowed to the unordained layperson to invoke validly any form of "Dominus vobiscum/et cum spiritu tuo." and then claim to follow the teachings of the Magisterium.

It is a joy to find the old devotions we once did but now are so hard to find, such as the blessing of Saint Blase, etc.
A Blessing itself  Nov 2, 2004
This book contains rites for blessing all manner of church articles, holy reminders, religous goods and peoples. I am thankfull that this resource is available and is being used. Too many priests, when asked to bless something ignore these approved rites and opt to simply make the sign of the cross over whatever it is they are blessing. Personally I will not go to a priest that does not use the full rite of blessing. I hope you will all like this book as much as I do.

Great resource for Catholic parishes  May 13, 2001
The Book of Blessings (BB) contains a great many blessings for various ocassions, including: birthday blessings, blessing of mothers before/after childbirth, blessing of animals, blessing of mothers/fathers/families, blessing of liturgical/pastoral ministers etc. This great resource recalls the Catholic tradition that God has touched every moment of our lives by his incarnation, and that we are called to be people of blessing.

BB actually highlights the Church's teachings that objects are blessed for the benefit of the people by the way the blessings are structured. The focus is not so much on the object, but on the people who will benefit from the use of the objects, thus emphasizing the faith of the Church that all things are created for the good of human beings. The overt focus on the liturgy of the word might hamper its use at certain ocassions though, and guidelines for the adaptation of rites to particular circumstances could be provided in the coming revision.

Overall, this book produced by the Liturgical Press is beautifully crafted. It uses the NAB with revised NT for its scriptural texts.

De Benedictionibus...  May 18, 2000
This is the official English translation of the Latin "De Benedictionibus" and is the authorized text for Roman Catholic blessings. Some things deserve mention beyond these basic facts, however. In practice I do not see this book receiving widespread use. It will surely be used for those occasions when a bishop blesses a new organ or set of bells for a parish, or when ministers are installed for service...but when an elderly woman wants her rosary beads blessed, I doubt whether any priest will celebrate a Liturgy of the Word with optional singing and general intercessions. Also, scanning these prayers of blessing one often wonders exactly when the objects are blessed...there is a lot of talking about blessing but not much actual explicit blessing...many of the prayers of the former Roman Ritual for blessing were far better from the literary sense and actually conveyed to lay people without a theological training in blessings the idea that their cars-bibles-crosses were actually being blessed.
Official but Unfortunate  Mar 18, 2000
The new "Book of Blessings" is practically necessary for Catholic ministries, but one might (without the least disrespect for its authors or the Holy See) observe that, unfortunately, it does not represent the fullness of the Catholic tradition.

Page after page the new ritual shies away from actually blessing THINGS, opting instead for prayers that the people who use or see the things will be blessed. One might wonder whether someone's quasi-Manichaean tendencies are not at work here -- the Church, after all, gladly blesses a variety of material creatures (candles, oil, fire, water, palms, etc) in her liturgy without thinking that she thereby makes them into good-luck charms or magical objects. Moreover, the blessing of houses, animals, fields, devotional articles, etc., outside the liturgy is deeply engrained in Catholic tradition. (And speaking of such blessings: it is really necessary to have a liturgy of the Word for every little blessing? This seems like a good idea gotten out of hand!)

Although the B of B is our current official ritual book, one may hope for improvements. Since the whole creation is renewed in Christ, perhaps it is not so wrong to consecrate THINGS to the purposes of the Kingdom.


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