Blessings of Religious Articles

Posted March 10, 2009

The following is also posted under the PRAYER tab – See above

The six major blessings have not been used very much since Vatican 11, when the blessing rituals were simplified. But those blessings have not been abrogated either, so they’re still valid. I received the privilege of administering them from the Holy See in 1952 as a an indult granted to perpetually enrolled members of the Near East Donors’ Association. Each blessing has its own set of indulgences–too numerous to list (or remember). 

The blessings for all religious articles are the so-called ABCD Blessings: 1) Apostolic blessing (the one that the Pope gives in his general blessings; 2) Brigittine blessing formerly granted through the Brigittine Order of monks; 3) Crosier blessing, granted through the Crosier Order of Priests and Brothers; 4) Dominican blessing, from the Order of St. Dominic; 5) Way of the Cross blessing (for crucifixes only, not crosses); and finally the Happy Death blessing (for crucifixes only, not crosses). 

The last-mentioned “Happy Death crucifix blessing” enables anyone to receive a plenary indulgence at the hour of death, if the person is near death (” in articulo mortis”) who holds or looks upon this crucifix devoutly and has true and perfect contrition for all the sins of his or her life. 

John H. Hampsch, CM.F.