blessing during mass

Is there anything in the rubrics that allows for a separate “blessing of children” after holy communion?

Please cite your sources if possible. Thanks!

there is a book of blessings which envisions, by context, all manner of blessings after communion, such as married couples, and yes first communion candidates, members of Catholic lay fraternities and apostolates, those being instituted in the brown scapular, blessings for sacramentals etc.

What is your beef with someone receiving a blessing?

What is not provided for is anything that calls for children or anyone else to gather around the altar during Mass.

I’m asking because it’s a big production every Sunday. The 100 or so kids and pregnant moms line up and Father gives them a blessing one at a time, usually peppered with jokes that the whole congregation laughs along with. It adds another 10 minutes to mass for something that doesn’t seem like part of the actual liturgy. That’s why I’m wondering if it’s truly licit or just another innovation, like holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer.

The kids around the altar occurs at the earlier mass. :o

I may be a bit naive but I don’t see anything in the OP’s post that indicates that she has a “beef” with anything… looks just like a simple question to me. Perhaps we should be a bit less defensive and “quick on the draw” to enter into confrontations that may only exist in our own minds.

well the jokes are not part of the liturgy obviously, and I cannot understand why the group as a whole does not receive a blessing. In the confirmation rite each candidate receives the anointing individually, but there is nothing in the rites for first communion that require a blessing, but like the other blessings, it may be done during Mass after communion. I do not understand the pregant mom reference. yes there is a blessing for expectant mothers,. There is another for new mothers and their babies, it is usually conferred during baptism.

and why do you jump to the conclusion that if OP does indeed have a “beef” with this it is not legitimate?

It seems like you are mainly bothered by having 10 minutes added to the Mass. Are you really in such a hurry to get out?

Huh?? :confused: Boy, you lost me here!

I jump to no conclusion whatsoever regarding the “beef” or its legitimacy. My post was directed at a conclusion that you appear to have jumped to. Perhaps she has a beef; perhaps she doesn’t… and **that’s **my point! Based on what she wrote in the original post, we just can’t tell! And because we can’t tell, we should not assume!

Please read the original post again and tell me what prompted you to assume that the poster has a “beef” with someone receiving a blessing. I just don’t see it…

You can certainly do this after the post-Communion prayer. Unfortunately, the Cathedral, when the second administrator took over, brought up the practice of doing this during the offertory, which, when listening to it on live radio, sounds terrible and disorganized, especially when there are a lot of kids and lots of noise.

The humor should not happen. It cheapens the sacred nature of the blessing. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a prude; however, let’s be judicious in how we use humor. .

However, if this is a weekly occurance (as is the case in our Cathedral), I would somsewhat question it because, in essence, all of us are going to get blessed at the final blessing. I can certainly undrestand if this is a special wedding anniversary, or maybe a once-a-month thing where the parishioners who all have birthdays on a given month (or anniversaries) would come together for a blessing, or for Father’s Day, Mother’s Day or Grandparent’s Day. But, to do this every Sunday? This is a bit too much.

I don’t mind being there another 10 minutes. In fact, we are usually in the last group of people to leave the sanctuary. That’s not the issue.

The issue is that the children and the pregnant mothers are invited to come up, one by one, to receive the cross on their forehead. I’m asking if this is licit. The pastor does this at every Sunday mass he celebrates.

To me it interrupts the flow of the mass. After communion seems like a time for contemplation. I’m not against people receiving a short blessing before dismissal. I’m not against anything that is allowed. I’m just asking for clarification. Thanks again.

I can certainly see your point. Now, are these children old enough to receive Holy Communion? Have the expectant mothers all gone to receive Holy Communion? It seems to me that if they’ve already received Jesus, then why the double blessing, since everyone will be blessed towards the end of Mass?

It sounds like it’s just another personal idiosyncracy that the priest is trying to interject. We are not supposed to add (let alone, subtract) things to the Mass. It is not our personal property to do with as we please. We are to receive the Mass and celebrate in the matter, form and manner in which the Church requires. It just sounds like bad liturgical stewardship to me.

I think the General Introduction to the Book of Blessings forbids such a blessing. I disagree with Benedictgal who wrote “You can certainly do this after the post-Communion prayer.” Can he provide a source for this?

The General Introduction to the Book of Blessings has:
“28 Because some blessings have a special relationship to the sacraments, they may sometimes be joined with the celebration of Mass.
This book specifies which such blessings are and the part or rite with which they are to be joined; it also provides ritual norms that may not be disregarded. No blessings excpet those so specified may be joined with the eucharistic celebration.
(Book of Blessings, Liturgical Press, Minnesota, 1989, ISBN 0-8146-1875-8, page xxx).

This sentence I have put in bold forbids blessings in the Communion Procession. I don’t think there can be any blessing after Communion, except the final blessing.

The Book of Blessings has a “Order for the Blessing of a Mother Before Childbirth” (page 72, n. 240). But it is a “stand alone” ceremony, not part of the Mass.

There is an “Order for the Blessing of Families and Member of Families”. It is the first in the book, page 3, n. 40. “43. The blessing of a family may also be carried out within Mass, by use of the order provided in nos. 62-67.” The usual place for this blessing is after the General Intercessions, which are after the homily. But:
“67 But as an alternative, if this seems more opportune, the prayer of blessing may be used at the end of Mass after the following or some other invitation:
Bow your heads and pray for God’s blessing.
After the prayer of blessing, the celebrant always adds:
And may almighty God bless you,
the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit.
R. Amen.”

An earlier rubric makes it clear that this is to be a general blessing for everyone:
“64. … The celebrant concludes the general intercessions with the prayer of blessing, unless it is thought better to have the prayer of blessing at the end of Mass as a prayer over the people. …”.

The GIRM refers to the final blessing (n. 31) or the prayer over the people (n. 90). I am not aware of anything that suggests there can be more than one of these.

John, if you read my username, there’s a three-letter word that indicates I’m a gal.

Now, I indicated that there was, perhaps, some wiggle-room in doing something after the post-communion prayer since, at least in my diocese (and, from what I have experienced, in my old parish in Austin), announcements were sometimes made after the Post-Communion prayer, as well as other extra-liturgical things. In fact, when the Knights of Columbus wanted to do some strange ritual involving the Silver Rose of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the first rector of the Cathedral (and, his decision was later ratified by our first diocesan director of worship) told the K of C to not do this until after the post-Communion prayer. In fact, the current director of Divine Worship for the Diocese saves special birthday and anniversary blessings until after the post-Communion prayer.

However, what the OP described is something that shouldn’t be happening on a regular basis. That is what I mean by inserting a personal idiosyncracy into the Mass. Incidentally, if you carefully read my post, you will also find that I made the same argument as you did in my own statement. If we already have a final blesisng, why repeat it, and, in an individual basis (sign of the cross over each person)?

The wedding anniversary blessings are to be after the Lord’s Prayer (n. 103) or the General Intercessions (n. 111) and optionally as part of the final blessing (n. 106, 114).
“106. … Bow your heads and pray for God’s blessing.
Then with hands outstreched over the couple, the celebrant says:
May God, the almighty Father, give you joy.
R. Amen.
May the only Son of God have mercy on you and help you in good times and in bad.
R. Amen.
May the Holy Spirit always fill your hearts with love.
R. Amen.
Then he blesses all present.
And may almighty God bless you all,
the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit.
R. Amen.”
(Book of Blessings, Liturgical Press, Minnesota, 1989, ISBN 0-8146-1875-8, page 24).

The USA edition of the Book of Blessings has “Order of Blessing on the Occasion of a Birthday” (page 100, n. 323). It is not in the Latin edition. It is a stand alone ceremony, not a blessing that should be given in Mass.

John, I certainly don’t want to engage in document warfare with you; however, because these “special event” blessings, like the birthday blessings are few and far between, and the post-communion prayer is pretty much a nano-second before the final blessing, it’s almost as though they are lumped together.

Now, you might not realize that my diocese sits on the border with Mexico. I do not know what the Benedicional (Book of Blessings–Mexican Episcopal Conference) makes for allowances for special blessings. They may actually have some sort of clearance for something after the post-communion prayer. I do know that 15th birthday (very, very big in Hispanic communities–but, that’s a whole other thread) blessings for young women happen after the homily and they have their own ritual, mirroring a wedding, but, without the groom.

I’m reminded of Pat Paulsen.


I am dumb but I am still not getting situation OP describes.

do you mean, every single Mass, children are blessed while receiving communion, or do you mean after communion all the children come forward to receive an individual blessing, along with pregnant women? it just sounds strange and I don’t know if I am reading this right. I can see blessing the children who have just made first communion, but that should be at the most a few Masses on the Sundays after Easter. I just don’t get the pregnant mommy thing.

Let me see if this can shed some light. From what I can infer from the OP’s subsequent explanation, the blessing happens after the distribution of Holy Communion. The children (OP doesn’t indicate exactly how old these children are) and the expectant mothers approach the altar and line up as though they were going to receive Holy Communion. The celebrant makes the sign of the cross over each person’s forehead and blesses them. This seems to happen every Sunday.

Furthermore, the kids, during another Mass, gather around the altar, something that is illicit and has been reprobated by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (as evidenced in the LifeTeen threads where the movement was told to cease and desist).

Life Teen’s Liturgical Reform
Life Teen, the Phoenix-based Catholic youth organization, announced in July that it will cease its idiosyncratic liturgical practices. Monsignor Dale Fushek, Life Teen’s founder and former Vicar General under Bishop Thomas O’Brien, sent a letter July 2, saying that he confirms “our adherence to the new GIRM, and as always, our obedience to our own local Bishops”.

The letter asked that “all parishes that implement the LIFE TEEN model” make these changes. The teens will no longer surround the altar during the Eucharistic prayer; they will cease saying, “The Mass never ends, it must be lived”, at the end of Mass; the rock-party atmosphere before Mass will be toned down to “make sure there is a period of silence to begin the liturgical celebration”; and they will “make sure the music does not in any way detract from the action at the altar, ambo or chair”.

“I am sure these issues will be hard on some parishes and teens”, Monsignor Fushek wrote. His letter said that Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted met in Rome with Cardinal Francis Arinze, of the Congregation for Divine Worship, about Life Teen.

What this parish is doing during the Mass raises up quite a few big red flags. I am wondering, though, if the last example the OP provided isn’t part of a LifeTeen Mass at her parish. Of course, I could be wrong in making that assumption, but, standing around the altar does seem to have been a hallmark for that movement. :shrug:

possible, but if we have pregnant moms at LT Mass I will have to revise my preconceptions on what LT entails.

Let’s argue about whether we should call people to the foot of the altar at the end of Mass for special blessing or at the prayers of the faithful to be prayed over. Either place looks liturgically permissible. So let’s fight about it.


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