Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Blessing of Child in the Womb

I thought what she had to say was really lovely. Did he actually use the Blessing for a Child in the Womb though? Rome Reports is apparently really fuzzy with the details (to be honest, most of the Rome watchers are, because English is a second language for so many of them and so much goes on in the Holy See). It doesn't look like he gives any sort of blessing, unless he does that later...I mean, he's not making the Sign of the Cross at all, and while he could just give his blessing in general, the rite is too long for this type of event. Weird.

(Regardless of what the Holy Father did or didn't do,) What's cool is that the rite was written and approved following the inquiry of my bishop, the Most Reverend Joseph Kurtz, who wondered if one existed, because he thought it would be beneficial for life and family efforts. One did not exist, so the USCCB wrote one, and approved by the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments for usage in the US. I think it can be used everywhere now, since Archbishop Kurtz spoke about it at the Synod of Bishops.

I really love the blessing even though it follows the post-Conciliar pattern of mimicking the Liturgy of the Word at times when it's not entirely necessary. The text of the blessing itself is beautiful, and even includes the words that actually impart God's blessing on the child, in a formula largely absent from the post-Conciliar book of blessings, De  Benedictionibus. Now, if only the rubrics instructed not only the orans posture, but the Sign of the Cross at the word 'bless', which is required as per instructions of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments (every time I am forced to type this out I wish they could just shorten the name to the Sacred Congregation of Rites again) in 2002. I doubt many older priests care to remember this, and it's a nice reminder for those priests who do care but are having a very sleepy day (which is most afternoons. C'mon, let's be realistic here.)
I think that if it was composed in Latin first, then the rest of the prayers wouldn't sound so, well, ICEL circa 1973, like the ghastly former translation of the Missal. (It needs a Latin version anyways!) It's also silly that "the celebrant, in silence, may sprinkle..." without any clarification as to what they mean by silence. Can the schola, if appropriate, chant the Asperges Me or the Vidi Aquam since the silence appears only to modify what the celebrant does? It ends beautifully with the priest's blessing upon all present, and the recitation of a prayer to the Blessed Virgin. Included as options are the Salve Regina and the Alma Redemptoris Mater, which is awesome. I think chanting these would be great, and the seasonal antiphon to the Blessed Virgin should be used.

To close with a return to the video: it's nice to see that athletics is still a universal means of building a life of Christian virtue, even in the countries further along the wayside than the United States.

And for your viewing delight, I encourage you to check out the photos from L'Osservatore Romano of the recent visit by the Holy Father to a Roman parish. Here is my favorite:
Photo: © L’Osservatore Romano

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