Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a special day to me and to many people I know. I just want to share a word about the brown scapular and a prayer for this feast.
Many people were enrolled in the Brown Scapular of the Order of Mount Carmel at their First Holy Communion. Others (like me) took on this devotion later in life – and perhaps with a bit more awareness of its significance.
(Incidentally, at my First Holy Communion we were given green scapulars. Not a bad idea.)
From time to time one’s scapular needs replacing. Mine usually gets kind of grungy from daily wear and then before long one of the strings on it will break. The proper method of disposal for a used scapular is either burial or burning (with the ashes then being disposed of reverently, i.e. by burial or by depositing them someplace where they won’t be trampled upon, like in the woods or in a garden).
When it comes time to replace one’s scapular, it is not all that uncommon to hear something like, “The blessing is on you, so you don’t have to have your new scapular blessed”. This is partially true and partially not. If you have been formally enrolled in the scapular devotion, then you did receive a blessing (and also took on a sort of commitment). But there is nothing wrong with having each scapular that you wear over the years blessed in addition. So if I were you I would go ahead and have a priest bless my new scapular every time I got one.
Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel
O most blessed Virgin Immaculate, the beauty and splendor of Carmel, you who regard with eyes of special love those who wear your blessed habit, look kindly upon me and spread over me the mantle of your maternal protection. Strengthen my weakness with your power, illuminate the darkness of my mind with your wisdom, and increase in me the virtues of faith, hope, and charity. Adorn my soul with such graces and virtues that it may be ever dear to your divine Son and to you. Assist me in life and console me in death with your dear presence, and present me to the Holy Trinity as your child and devoted servant, eternally to praise and bless you in Paradise. Amen.
Three Hail Marys and one Glory Be.