One revered custom of the Christmas season is the blessing of wine on the Feast of Saint John during the Christmas Octave. The instructions for the blessing state that after the last Gospel, the priest bless the wine in honor of Saint John, who without detriment, drank the poisoned wine proffered by his enemies.
The blessing starts with Psalm 22, “The Lord is my Shepherd and I will lack nothing.....He reneweth my thirsting soul.....my cup overflows and how good it is.“ ” A sampling of the three prayers: “Bless and sanctify this wine which Thou has vintaged for man’s drink. Whosoever partakes of it on this holy solemnity, grant him life in body and soul.” “May the Blessed disciple John, Apostle and Evangelist, intercede for them that partake of this blessed wine and grant them security from all deadly and poisonous afflictions and constant good health of soul and body.” “Lord, grant to all who drink this wine, spiritual joy and eternal life.”
After a Missa Cantata this morning at Mater Ecclesiae, Berlin NJ, this picture was taken with some of those who had their wine blessed. May all who have had their wine blessed on this St. John’s Day have true health and enjoy this gift of God’s creation as we celebrate the recreation of the world by His Son. It should be noted that all were invited with one proviso, that the pastor receive a bottle, or at least a glass, to celebrate the joy of the season. Does anyone know if there is a Saint’s day to bless vodka?