Last weekend, my 14 year old son was shopping with me in our local Catholic bookstore for an Easter gift for my 2 year old Godson. While we were there, we browsed through a table of clearance books. At one end was a Book of Gospels. It was originally marked $80, marked down to $17. (I have since seen it online for $199.) Anyway, my 14-year old was like a kid in a candy store. He HAD to have it! (I’ll pay for it, Mom! Or you can give it to me for Easter.) It’s not every teenager who asks for a Book of Gospels, so of course, I bought it.
My question… is it appropriate to have this blessed? Could we? Should we?
ah ha! a blessing nut. I love you guys. I have been asked to bless so many unusal thing over the years, I can’t wait for the next thing. pets and personal items are the big thing out here. and people wanting blessing for gambling. which I do bless with a standard disclaimer.
funniest thing I blessed so far is a older ladys group of pet rats. they are so smart and would stand up on thier back legs for the blessing when she told them too. she hand raisied them from infants.
My advice would be not to have this book blessed. It may lead to confusion about how the book is to be used.
The Book of Blessings includes “Chapter 39 Order for the Blessing of Articles for Liturgical Use”. Here it has: “… 1343 It is proper to bless other articles used for liturgical celebration: the ciborium or pyx, the monstrance, the vestments worn by ordained ministers, such linens as the corporal and altar cloths, and hymnals and service books (*Sacramentary, Lectionary for Mass, *etc.).”
Obviously if the intention is to read the Gospel at Mass from this book, the blessing is appropriate. But if this is not the intention, then I would have some concerns about the blessing.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church has:
“1672 Certain blessings have a lasting importance because they consecrate persons to God, or reserve objects and places for liturgical use. Among those blessings which are intended for persons - not to be confused with sacramental ordination - are the blessing of the abbot or abbess of a monastery, the consecration of virgins and widows, the rite of religious profession and the blessing of certain ministries of the Church (readers, acolytes, catechists, etc.). The dedication or blessing of a church or an altar, the blessing of holy oils, vessels, and vestments, bells, etc., can be mentioned as examples of blessings that concern objects.”
My concern here is that in this case the intention is not to reserve this book for liturgical use. Perhaps this could be discussed with the priest. An alternative blessing could be:
“Chapter 44 Order for the Blessing of Religious Articles”. It has: “1442 The present order is to be used to bless medals, small crucifixes, statues or pictures that will be displayed elsewhere than in a church or chapel, scapulars, rosaries, and other articles used for religious devotion.”
Book of Blessings, Liturgical Press, Minnesota, 1989, ISBN 0-8146-1875-8.
It can be blessed as any religious book or object can be blessed. The blessing would not be a blessing which sets it aside for use during the liturgy. I highly commend your son for being excited about such a find, and I would have it blessed.
I don’t see the problem. It wouldn’t be blessed for liturgical use (which blessings would probably border or be in the realm of a consecration). But it still is the Word of God (even in a somewhat abridged form) and as such could (and I argue should) be blessed for private devotional use.
Why not? Are you so superstitious that you think objects or clothing have magical properties right off the assembly line? Do you think that movies and actors portraying priests are bad because they use such items in a non-liturgical way?
Chalices and vestments are no more sacred and deserving of exalted treatment before blessing or consecration than the bread and wine to be consecrated at Mass should be exalted or venerated before they are blessed and brought forward to be consecrated.
However, because they are made primarily for sacred use, they must be respected. The Book of the Gospels primarily exists to be proclaimed during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. That is why I stand by recommendation that the family donate the Book of the Gospels to a parish that cannot afford to purchase one for itself. There are quite a few parishes down here that would be grateful to have the Book of the Gospels.
like, would you ask the priest to borrow the holy sacramentary to read while you are having lunch? side note thou, there are 2 editions of the sacramentary. a study and a altar edition. the study one is regular book size. course I have been in many churches where they have used a study edition for mass thou. any items used in any ritual become holy and should not be there after used for anything else.
it’s like, would you also use your rosary to swat flies?
I don’t buy it for unblessed objects. With the exception of the Book of Gospels (since it contains the written Word of God), the other items are just items and don’t merit any greater respect or devotion than other items in this world. Once blessed and consecrated, it becomes a new ball of wax, so to speak, because it is at that point (and not before) that they become set aside for a special and sacred function.
But, why else would someone buy a gold chalice and a paten, if not for sacred use? You do not buy a chalice and a paten in order to use it at your next dinner party. That would not make any sense. These are meant for sacred use, not for the profane.