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  #1  
Old Dec 1, '10, 4:03 pm
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GR1G1O GR1G1O is offline
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Exclamation can lay persons bless things?

2 separate priest have done this and I was wondering if it is correct. One time at a wedding the priest asked everybody to raise their hands to bless the couple getting married. A second time a priest asked everybody to raise their arms to bless a group being recognized at the alter before the final prayer. And a third time the priest asked everybody to raise their arms to bless the advent candles.(All these times the priest lead the prayer for blessing.) My question is what power does the lay persons have to bless anything? I don't remember getting that power in any sacraments.
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  #2  
Old Dec 1, '10, 4:05 pm
ConstantineTG ConstantineTG is offline
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Default Re: can lay persons bless things?

No, that should not have happened.

Lay persons can pray for God's blessings but not convey blessings the way a priest does.
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  #3  
Old Dec 1, '10, 4:11 pm
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GR1G1O GR1G1O is offline
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Default Re: can lay persons bless things?

Every time this has happened I have kept my arms and hands in prayer position as I always do throughout mass, and I follow along and end with an "amen". But what is the point to ask everybody to raise their hands (and leave the prayer position) and help bless? it seems the priest choice of words AND actions are wrong?
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  #4  
Old Dec 1, '10, 4:21 pm
ConstantineTG ConstantineTG is offline
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Default Re: can lay persons bless things?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GR1G1O View Post
Every time this has happened I have kept my arms and hands in prayer position as I always do throughout mass, and I follow along and end with an "amen". But what is the point to ask everybody to raise their hands (and leave the prayer position) and help bless? it seems the priest choice of words AND actions are wrong?
This is an influence by Pentecostal/Evangelical belief. Sadly is being used more and more in Catholic parishes. I think it should be taught that lay people cannot do this. That I think is part of the problem, that its not taught that way.
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  #5  
Old Dec 1, '10, 6:12 pm
Bookcat Bookcat is offline
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Default Re: can lay persons bless things?

A Baptized lay person...can Bless. He is a Christian. Called in fact to bless and be a blessing...(not commenting directly on the examples...but in general ...of course only in proper ways)

The blessing here of course is different than that of the ministerial Priesthood.

And one can not "Bless Sacramentals"....like medals etc...

But for sure pray...."ask the blessing of God" etc....bless your children etc...

The sign of the cross has been used since the very early days... Early Christians would use it all the time...

in the early Church it was made on the fore head with a + (and still is at the Gospel..and one can of course always use do it this way too personally outside formal liturgical times...i do..)

"let us then not be ashamed to confess the Crucified. Be the cross our seal, made with boldness by our fingers on our brow and in every thing; over the bread we eat and the cups we drink, in our comings and in goings; before our sleep, when we lie down and when we awake; when we are travelling, and when we are at rest". St. Cyril of Jerusalem

In all our travels and movements, in all our coming in and going out, in putting on our shoes, at the bath, at the table, in lighting our candles, in lying down, in sitting down, whatever employment occupies us, we mark our forehead with the sign of the cross."

--Tertullian

"Making the sign of the cross -- as we will do during the blessing -- means saying a visible and public "yes" to the One who died and rose for us, to God who in the humility and weakness of His love is the Almightly, stronger than all the power and intelligence of the world."

-Pope Benedict XVI
Angelus
September 11, 2005


he also talks about it when he was Cardinal in the Spirit of the Liturgy...as a renewal of baptism...as a shield...etc..and about blessing....go read that chapter!
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  #6  
Old Dec 1, '10, 6:17 pm
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lil_flower_luv lil_flower_luv is offline
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Default Re: can lay persons bless things?

Catholic lay people can pray over/for each other. When I say "God bless," am I blessing you? No, God is. I am praying God will bless you. That is what lay people are doing in the cases you have mentioned. Is the gesture what bothers you? If so, we could go on all day talking about outward signs of prayer and reverence. Whatever suits you.
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  #7  
Old Dec 1, '10, 6:45 pm
Remington Remington is offline
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Default Re: can lay persons bless things?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookcat View Post
A Baptized lay person...can Bless. He is a Christian. Called in fact to bless and be a blessing...(not commenting directly on the examples...but in general ...of course only in proper ways)

The blessing here of course is different than that of the ministerial Priesthood.

And one can not "Bless Sacramentals"....like medals etc...

But for sure pray...."ask the blessing of God" etc....bless your children etc...

The sign of the cross has been used since the very early days... Early Christians would use it all the time...

in the early Church it was made on the fore head with a + (and still is at the Gospel..and one can of course always use do it this way too personally outside formal liturgical times...i do..)

"let us then not be ashamed to confess the Crucified. Be the cross our seal, made with boldness by our fingers on our brow and in every thing; over the bread we eat and the cups we drink, in our comings and in goings; before our sleep, when we lie down and when we awake; when we are travelling, and when we are at rest". St. Cyril of Jerusalem

In all our travels and movements, in all our coming in and going out, in putting on our shoes, at the bath, at the table, in lighting our candles, in lying down, in sitting down, whatever employment occupies us, we mark our forehead with the sign of the cross."

--Tertullian

"Making the sign of the cross -- as we will do during the blessing -- means saying a visible and public "yes" to the One who died and rose for us, to God who in the humility and weakness of His love is the Almightly, stronger than all the power and intelligence of the world."

-Pope Benedict XVI
Angelus
September 11, 2005


he also talks about it when he was Cardinal in the Spirit of the Liturgy...as a renewal of baptism...as a shield...etc..and about blessing....go read that chapter!
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Quite true. We are able to both pray AND bless. Sadly some people have been taught to either reject this truth or minimize it. All too often lay blessings are spoken of in terms of not being as "good" as a blessing from a cleric or as "good" as a sacrificial liturgy. Or they are talked about only in the context of taking place at the expense of a cleric-blessing or a sacrificial liturgy which is typically not the case at all. Those are very negative ways to look at lay blessings which themselves are very much a gifts from God.
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  #8  
Old Dec 1, '10, 6:50 pm
Remington Remington is offline
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Default Re: can lay persons bless things?

As a laymen when I bless my kids or wife I say "May almighty God bless you and keep you in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen" while making the sign of the cross over them with my right hand.

Before anyone suggests otherwise, these blessings do not come at the expense of cleric-blessings or taking part of sacrificial liturgies. I hate those false zero-sum positions that some people try to use to sell their personal preferences. And yes, this blessing is allowed by the Church -- a great gift from God.
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  #9  
Old Dec 1, '10, 7:01 pm
stephraim stephraim is offline
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Default Re: can lay persons bless things?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GR1G1O View Post
2 separate priest have done this and I was wondering if it is correct. One time at a wedding the priest asked everybody to raise their hands to bless the couple getting married. A second time a priest asked everybody to raise their arms to bless a group being recognized at the alter before the final prayer. And a third time the priest asked everybody to raise their arms to bless the advent candles.(All these times the priest lead the prayer for blessing.) My question is what power does the lay persons have to bless anything? I don't remember getting that power in any sacraments.
No, this should not have happened. It's been stated many times that the liturgical books are to be followed exactly, neither adding, omitting, or altering anything in them (unless allowed by the rubrics, e.g. "in these or similar words"). The CDWDS has said that "Lay people, within the context of Holy Mass, are unable to confer blessings. These blessings, rather, are the competence of the priest (cf. Ecclesia de Mysterio, Notitiae 34 (15 Aug. 1997), art. 6, § 2; Canon 1169, § 2; and Roman Ritual De Benedictionibus (1985), n. 18)."

Further, anytime a lay person says a prayer of blessing liturgically, he must do so with "hands joined."

Taking all the above together, then, it seems that what happened should not have been done.
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  #10  
Old Dec 1, '10, 7:49 pm
mdgspencer mdgspencer is offline
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Default Re: can lay persons bless things?

An article in the "Catholic Encyclopedia" discusses the difference between blessings laypeople can make and the blessings only priests can make. This article is at:
www.newadvent.org/cathen/02599b.htm
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  #11  
Old Dec 3, '10, 2:07 am
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Matthew Holford Matthew Holford is offline
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Default Re: can lay persons bless things?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remington View Post
As a laymen when I bless my kids or wife I say "May almighty God bless you and keep you in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen" while making the sign of the cross over them with my right hand.

Before anyone suggests otherwise, these blessings do not come at the expense of cleric-blessings or taking part of sacrificial liturgies. I hate those false zero-sum positions that some people try to use to sell their personal preferences. And yes, this blessing is allowed by the Church -- a great gift from God.
I have seen you express this personal opinion in at least two threads. On all occasions you have said that it is permitted by the Church. You have, to the best of my knowledge, never cited any source to support your personal opinion.

The Church may well allow laypersons to give blessings both by the use of words and/or making appropriate signs, e.g. making the sign of the cross. Please cite at least one source that tells us the Church allows us to do this.
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  #12  
Old Dec 3, '10, 2:51 am
Aramis Aramis is offline
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Default Re: can lay persons bless things?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Holford View Post
I have seen you express this personal opinion in at least two threads. On all occasions you have said that it is permitted by the Church. You have, to the best of my knowledge, never cited any source to support your personal opinion.

The Church may well allow laypersons to give blessings both by the use of words and/or making appropriate signs, e.g. making the sign of the cross. Please cite at least one source that tells us the Church allows us to do this.
He won't be able to show the use of making the cross over something or someone by laity, since no valid such proof exists.

Laity properly make the sign of the cross upon themself when invoking the trinity in a blessing prayer.

A cleric GIVES god's blessing. A layman only asks for it.

Prior to the mid 20th century, the church taught that blessings were exclusively the province of the priest and bishop, except for one particular deaconal blessing.

the 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia points out the immemorial tradition, and the basis. Canon Law (current) shows that immemorial customs have force of law.

The Current CCC makes note that certain sacramentals include blessings by laity, namely blessing of meals, warns against using the priestly gestures, and notes that the prescribed forms are to be followed.

The CIC notes the following:
Can. 1168 The minister of sacramentals is a cleric who has been provided with the requisite power. According to the norm of the liturgical books and to the judgment of the local ordinary lay persons who possess the appropriate qualities can also administer some sacramentals.
It requires the norm of the liturgical book AND the judgement of the bishop.

Except for those certain blessing which are themselves permitted to the laity by centenial or longer tradition, like the blessing of meals as given in the 1890 Baltimore Catechism... But that's done with hands folded, unless you're a cleric.
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  #13  
Old Dec 3, '10, 3:07 am
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Matthew Holford Matthew Holford is offline
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Default Re: can lay persons bless things?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aramis View Post
He won't be able to show the use of making the cross over something or someone by laity, since no valid such proof exists.

Laity properly make the sign of the cross upon themself when invoking the trinity in a blessing prayer.

A cleric GIVES god's blessing. A layman only asks for it.

Prior to the mid 20th century, the church taught that blessings were exclusively the province of the priest and bishop, except for one particular deaconal blessing.

the 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia points out the immemorial tradition, and the basis. Canon Law (current) shows that immemorial customs have force of law.

The Current CCC makes note that certain sacramentals include blessings by laity, namely blessing of meals, warns against using the priestly gestures, and notes that the prescribed forms are to be followed.

The CIC notes the following:
Can. 1168 The minister of sacramentals is a cleric who has been provided with the requisite power. According to the norm of the liturgical books and to the judgment of the local ordinary lay persons who possess the appropriate qualities can also administer some sacramentals.
It requires the norm of the liturgical book AND the judgement of the bishop.

Except for those certain blessing which are themselves permitted to the laity by centenial or longer tradition, like the blessing of meals as given in the 1890 Baltimore Catechism... But that's done with hands folded, unless you're a cleric.
I am in complete agreement with you.

Unless the poster can cite verifiable references that support his statements they remain his personal opinions, nothing more.
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  #14  
Old Dec 3, '10, 3:39 am
stephraim stephraim is offline
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Default Re: can lay persons bless things?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Holford View Post
I am in complete agreement with you.

Unless the poster can cite verifiable references that support his statements they remain his personal opinions, nothing more.
Agreed.
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  #15  
Old Dec 3, '10, 5:09 am
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Reuben J Reuben J is offline
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Default Re: can lay persons bless things?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aramis View Post
A cleric GIVES god's blessing. A layman only asks for it.
I think this is it.

I bless my children all the time and cross them on their foreheads. That's a father's blessing and nobody can take that away. My formula is, "May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" and then cross them on the forehead and they then turn up and kiss me. I do this everyday as I let them off for school. I do that after the Holy Communion too,since they are too small, as I come back to the pew I would bless them. I know perfectly well, I am not a priest, and my blessing is to ask God to bless them.

Remember, we also can curse a person. If we can curse, then likewise we can bless. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob I think blessed people.

I often end a prayer in a community or gathering by saying the above formula but keeping my hands folded together."May the Lord bless us all, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit".

I think we should bless our house, properties and projects by asking God to bless them. We can use Holy Water too.

I think blessing is a good habit and should be made into a culture for us Chistians, if not already is.
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