Thursday, May 09, 2013

Compendium of the 1961 Revision of the Pontificale Romanum - Part 7: The Blessing of Vestments (1595 & 1961)

The blessing of vestments begins with the versicle “Adjutorium nostrum”, followed by “Dominus vobiscum” and the following two prayers. At the crosses marked in the prayers, the bishop makes the sign of the cross over the vestments.
Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, Who through Thy servant Moses decreed that pontifical, priestly and levitical vestments be made, that (these orders) might fulfill their ministry in Thy sight, to the honor and glory of Thy name; be present in Thy mercy to our invocations, that Thou may deign through our humble service to puri+fy, bless+ and conse+crate these priestly garments with a great blessing, pouring forth Thy grace from above, that they may be suitable for divine worship and the sacred mysteries. And may Thy bishops, priests and levites, clothed in these sacred vestments, merit to be armed and defended from every influence and temptation of wicked spirits; grant them to serve and cleave to Thy mysteries rightly and worthily, and persevere in them in tranquility and devotion. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

Let us pray. O God, triumphant in unconquered might, creator and sanctifier of all things, heed our prayers, and deign with Thy own mouth to bless +, sancti+fy and conse+crate these garments of levitical, priestly and pontifical honor, in which Thy ministers shall delight, and make all those who use them fit (to serve) Thy mysteries, and pleasing as they serve Thee in them devoutly and praiseworthily. (long conclusion) R. Amen. 
The bishop then sprinkles them with holy water.

In the 1961 revision, the words “purify” and “consecrate” are removed from the first prayer; the second prayer is suppressed.

The Pontifical of Clement VIII also contains a special blessing to be used when one particular kind of vestment is blessed, which also begins with “Adjutorium nostrum” and “Dominus vobiscum”.

Let us pray. Almighty God, Who givest all good virtues, and plentifully pourest forth all blessings, we humbly pray Thee, that by our hands Thou may pour forth the wealth of Thy blessing, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, deign to bless+, sancti+fy and conse+crate this (or “these”  - name of the type of vestment) prepared for divine worship; and to all those who use it (or “them” ), kindly grant the grace of sanctification that cometh of Thy sacred mystery, that in Thy sight they may appear holy, and immaculate and blameless, and receive the help of Thy mercy. (long conclusion)

The bishop then sprinkles them with holy water.

In the 1961 revision, the words “purify” and “consecrate” are removed from the prayer, which ends with the short conclusion. To the list of vestments which may be blessed are added “cope” and “humeral veil”, which are not mentioned in the 1595 Pontifical.

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