Count Your Blessings: 6 Types of Blessings Found in the Catholic Church – EpicPew

Count Your Blessings: 6 Types of Blessings Found in the Catholic Church

We’re all called to bless and be a blessing. After all, blessings are an incredible part of the Catholic faith. “Sacramentals derive from the baptismal priesthood: every baptized person is called to be a blessing, and to bless,” the Catechism of the Catholic Church says. “Hence lay people may preside at certain blessings. The more a blessing concerns ecclesial and sacramental life, the more is its administration reserved to the ordained ministry (bishops, priests, or deacons).”

In the decree publishing the  Cardinal Mayer once wrote, “The celebration of blessings holds a privileged place among all the sacramental created by the Church for the pastoral benefit of the people of God. As a liturgical action the celebration leads the faithful to praise God and prepares them for the principle effect of the sacraments. By celebrating a blessing, the faithful can also sanctify various situations and events in their lives.”

Here are six quick ways to introduce blessings and prayers into your life and your home!


1. Blessing of wine

The feast day of Saint John on December 28th is traditionally a time to bless wine! There’s still time to invite your parish priest over for a glass! He may use this blessing:

“Graciously bless and sanctify, O Lord God, this wine and this drink with Thy right hand, and grant that by the merits of Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist, all who believe in Thee and partake of this wine may be blessed and protected. And as Saint John drank poison from a cup and was unharmed, so may all those who this day drink of this cup in honor of Saint John be preserved from all poisoning and other harmful things, and as they offer themselves to Thee in body and soul may they be free of all guilt. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”


2. Parental blessings


Parental blessings are found all the way back in the Old Testament. Father particularly are the priests of their home – the domestic church. One way that fathers can live out their role as the priest of their family is to bless their children. This could be done before they fall asleep at night, after you get home from Mass on the weekend, or whenever you think is best.

To bless your child, simply trace the sign of the cross on your child’s forehead. You could dip your finger in holy water first, if you’d like to, but it isn’t necessary. A great parent’s blessings is: “May God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, bless you and keep you. May His blessings remain forever with you.”

Blessing your family is simple, and if you make it a regular practice in your home, your children will recognize it as a normal part of their home environment. They may even start asking for your blessing!

“You may not be rich; you may be unable to bequeath any great possessions to your children; but one thing you can give them; the heritage of your blessing. And it is better to be blessed than to be rich.” Saint Ambrose wrote.


3. House blessings

Just moved into a new house? Invite your parish priest over for dinner and ask him to bless your new home. Here’s a quick text of a blessing used for a home, translated by Translated by Most Reverend J. H. Schlarman:

“O heavenly Father, Almighty God, we humbly beseech Thee to bless and sanctify this house and all who dwell therein and everything else in it, and do Thou vouchsafe to fill it with all good things; grant to them, O Lord, the abundance of heavenly blessings and from the richness of the earth every substance necessary for life, and finally direct their desires to the fruits of Thy mercy. At our entrance, therefore, deign to bless and sanctify this house as Thou didst deign to bless the house of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob; and may the angels of Thy light, dwelling within the walk of this house, protect it and those who dwell therein. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”


4. Blessings before meals

Looking for a new prayer to say before digging into dinner with your family? Here’s a classic before-meal blessing!

“Bless us Oh Lord, and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive, from thy bounty, through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.”


5. Blessings before travels

Before departing for a journey, you can ask your local deacon or priest to say this powerful blessing:

“All-powerful and ever-living God, when Abraham left his own land and departed from his own people, you kept him safe all through his journey. Protect us, who also are your servants: walk by our side to help us; be our companion and our strength on the road and our refuge in every adversity. Lead us, O Lord, so that we will reach our destination in safety and happily return to our homes. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.”


6. Blessing of Bacon

Yes, there is an official bacon blessing. Check this blessing out before you make your next BLT!

“Bless, O Lord, this lard (or bacon), that it may be an effective remedy for the human race, and grant that through the invocation of Thy holy name all those who eat of it may obtain health of body and protection of their souls. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”