Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rite of Blessing of Water and Salt: a revisit

I have noticed that a lot of surfers have been interested with my post about the Rite of the Blessing of Water and Salt.

It, too, started with me out of curiosity.  That is why I searched for the internet and found the older Rite of  Blessing.  Reading the text I was particularly moved at how the prayers invoke the help and protection of Almighty God against the power of the enemy.  I then compared it with the present Rite of Blessing of Water and boy was I surprised.

From the 1962 Rite has this blessing...

O God, for the salvation of mankind
You have built Your greatest sacraments on this substance of water.
Give a kindly hearing to our prayers,
and pour out the power of Your blessing on this element,
now prepared for our many kinds of purifications.
Grant that this, Your creature,
may receive power by divine grace,
in serving Your mysteries,
to drive away evil spirits, and dispel diseases
Grant that everything in the homes or other buildings of the faithful
that is sprinkled with this water
may be freed of all uncleanness,
and be freed from harm.

Let no harmful spirit abide here,
nor breath of corruption approach,
and may all the snares of our hidden enemy vanish.
If there be anything which threatens
either the health or the peace of those living there,
may the sprinkling of this water put it to flight.
Grant that the well-being sought by calling on Your holy name
may be defended from all attacks,
through Christ our Lord.

While the new rite has this blessing...

Let us pray. Lord, holy Father, look upon us who were redeemed though your Son and were reborn at the baptismal font and grant that those who would be sprinkled by this water may be renewed in body and mind and may offer you pure service through Christ our Lord together with the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.

The difference is sooooo glaring!  In the first place, why change the prayers that are specifically aimed to call upon the help of the Lord that the water be blessed as a weapon against the enemy?  Note in the new rite of blessing of water, it does not even ask God to bless the water.

If you prefer to have your water blessed using the old ritual, you can ask you priest to do so since this ritual is valid according to the motu propio of our Holy Father, Benedict XVI.  You can find an online edition of the Rituale Romanum on this link.

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