We had a lovely Mass this morning for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord – traditionally known as “Candlemas”, the fortieth day after Christmas, the day when candles are blessed and carried lighted in procession. Also – in many places – today was traditionally observed as the final day of the Christmas season.
It was edifying to see how many people brought candles to be blessed at this morning’s Mass. For those who missed it, however, I want to remind everyone that any priest can bless candles on any day of the year. This is one of the many blessings in the old Roman Ritual that is not only beautiful but quite powerful. I am pleased to reproduce it here:
BLESSING OF CANDLES
Priest: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who made heaven and earth.
Priest: The Lord be with you.
All: And with your spirit.
Let us pray.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, bless + these candles at our lowly request. Endow them, Lord, by the power of the holy + cross, with a blessing from on high, you who gave them to mankind in order to dispel darkness. Let the blessing that they receive from the sign of the holy + cross be so effectual that, wherever they are lighted or placed, the princes of darkness may depart in trembling from all these places, and flee in fear, along with all their legions, and never more dare to disturb or molest those who serve you, the almighty God, who live and reign for ever and ever.
They are sprinkled with holy water.
Encourage your priest to use these great old blessings! The books he needs are this set: THE ROMAN RITUAL. Any priest may use the blessings in these books by virtue of the permission given in Summorum Pontificum and further elucidated upon in the instruction Universae Ecclesiae.