Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Blessings Yesterday

On the Feast of St. Mark

These blessings are performed in an official capacity by the Church, but it's also a nice family custom, one that literally "brings home" the importance of formally asking God's intercession in our daily lives, for the success of our endeavors and the safety of our homes. We all felt very safe here on our little farm when we had finished!

The Blessing of Crosses to be Placed in Fields and Vineyards

(Usually said on May 3rd, on the Feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross ~ But we decided to add it to our Greater Litany blessings. We placed four crosses made from pickets in the four corners of our "close in" acreage.)

Almighty, everlasting God, Father of goodness and consolation, in virtue of the bitter suffering of Thy Sole-Begotten Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, endured for us sinners on the wood of the Cross, bless these crosses which Thy Faithful will erect in their vineyards, fields, and gardens. Protect the land where they are placed from hail, tornado, storm, and every assault of the enemy, so that their fruits ripened to the harvest may be gathered to Thy honor by those who place their hope in the holy Cross of thy Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, Who livest and reigneth with Thee eternally.

Blessing of Pasture, Meadows, and Fields
(To be prayed sometime before the cattle are put on pasture for the summer. )

O God, through whom every good thing has its beginning, and through whom it is improved and increased; grant, we beseech Thee, to us who cry to Thee, that this work, which we are beginning for the praise of Thy name, may be happily brought to completion through the never-failing gift of Thy fatherly wisdom. Through Christ our Lord.
Blessing of the Sprouting Seed
(We all especially loved this sweet little prayer, and, in light of where we live, put special emphasis on the the word "soft"...)

Bless this sprouting seed, strengthen it in the gentle movement of soft winds, refresh it with the dew of heaven, and let it grow to full maturity for the good of body and soul.
Processing while praying the Litany of the Saints.

Blessing of a Farm
(We like this prayer, especially, too; I hope to incorporate it into our daily prayers.)

Bless, O Lord Almighty God, this house (and/or farm). May health and purity, goodness and meekness, and every virtue reign here. May all those who dwell here be filled with faithfulness to Thy law and with thanksgiving to God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. May this blessing remain on this house (and/or farm) and all who dwell here. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessing of All Domestic Animals
(Chickens, in this case...)

Lord God King of heaven and earth, Thou the Word of the Father by Whom all creatures were given us for our support: look down, we beseech Thee, on our lowliness. As Thou has given us these animals to assist us in our labor and needs, so mayest Thou in Thy great goodness and mercy bless them from above, guard and preserve them; and, while Thou givest Thy servants temporal benefits, mayest Thou grant us Thy continual grace, so that we may praise Thy holy name with thanksgiving.

Blessing of a Stable

Blessing of a Stable O Lord, Almighty God, who didst decree that Thy only- begotten Son, our Redeemer, should be born in a stable and laid in a manger between an ox and an ass, bless, we beseech Thee, this stable and preserve it from every deceit and snare of the devil that horses and cattle within it may be healthy and secure from all harm. And if "the ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib," grant that Thy servants, whom Thou hast made to Thy own image and hast placed only a little lower than the angels may not be like unreasoning animals; that they may not be like the horse and the mule that have no understanding, but that they may acknowledge Thee, the one true God, the Author of all good, and that Thy servants may persevere in Thy service. Grant that Thy servants may always give thanks to Thee for the gifts they have received from Thee; and make them worthy to receive ever greater benefits. Through the same Christ our Lord.


GrandmaK said...

This is a wonderful ritual and tradition. Thank you for sharing this. God Bless you all, indeed! Cathy

Aussie Therese said...

thats a great idea.

MightyMom said...

how fun!

what's the plant he's holding??

SQUELLY said...

What a great thing to do!

Anne P. said...

Its great that you posted this..I have wanted to find a prayer for my garden. Seems like they all get going well, but then meet their untimely demise! So, thanks for this!

Linda Higgins said...

Wow! we should all be so prayerful! This world would be such a better place.

Lisa said...

MM ~ that was the end of a pine branch that made a very handy holy water sprinkler thingy... &:o)