[quote=DavidFilmer]If an **object is blessed, it is always a formal blessing (and it is improper for the minister to “make up” the prayer - it should be read from the Book of Blessings). A formal blessing of a person occurrs within a liturgy (and, as such, it is improper for an extrodinary minister of Communion (ie, Eucharistic Minister) to ‘bless’ a person who does not receive Eucharist, though this is widely abused).
** Nothing, really. Except the Church says so. There is no theological basis for this distinction; I imagine the Magesterium feels (in Her wisdom) that such distinction is appropriate to the situation, and She thus imposes this purely non-doctrinal rule (as is Her right and duty). As faithful Catholics, we are obliged to respect these rules.
I haven’t looked it up in Canon Law, but since this blessing occurs within a liturgy, I’m “very sure” it is not permitted to be administered by a layperson.
Nor is this a Church teaching, and it’s not even historically accurate. See my post regarding the Brown Scapular here (and my follow-up) for more information why this “promise” is neither Catholic teaching nor historically sound.
Very interesting, especially regarding the fact that there is no real theological explanation of this practice. I can understand the inherent graces provided through a “blessing” but how this blessing is applied to an object, and thus the object is given higher status (ie one cannot destroy a sacramental unless done in so and so fashion) over non-blessed items is still a bit out there for me.
On his blog, here, Jimmy Akin provides the relevant citations from Canon Law and the Book of Blessings that say lay persons may give some blessings, including the blessing of the throats on St. Blase’s Day.
Oh wonderful. I’m glad that I don’t have to take any sort of action. It’s weird how a throat can be blessed “by” the laity but not a rosary or a house, fore example. Weird! The significance of the St. Blase blessing is that it is an intercessory act as the actual words begin “By the intercession of St. Blase” (or something to that effect) there might be a fundamental difference in the nature of the blessing over a “formal” blessing on a house or medal or rosary. With that said though, it seems like the laity could bless a medal or rosary or house by seeking the “intercessory blessing” of a particular saint such as Mary or St. Christopher… at least that seems to be the natural implication in light of the exceptions to the rule, such as St. Blase’s feast day and the blessing of throats.
Thanks for all the feedback! You all are awesome and I hope that one day my great-grandchildren (or spiritual grandchildren) will carry your saint/prayer cards!