The Book of Blessings, used in almost every Catholic church since the 1980s, is full of ritual blessings for everything from rosaries to fishing gear (seriously, there’s a blessing for fishing gear in there). As you look ahead to the start of another busy school year of ministry, evangelization, and religious education later this calendar year, I encourage parish staff to take a few moments and flip through this book with your pastor. Ask your leadership team these three questions so your pastor can be giving frequent blessings:

  • Are there unique characteristics of our parish that fit well with a particular blessing? (For example; blessings of crops, animals, medical personnel, etc.)
  • Can we offer more common blessings at particular times of year? (For example; the blessing of religious articles soon after a First Communion class has likely received Bibles, rosaries, etc.)
  • Can we use blessings to mark important moments in the lives of our parishioners? (For example; blessings at important wedding anniversaries, blessings of new parishioners, blessing parishioners who are moving, etc.)

You are likely to find dozens of opportunities that can be enhanced by utilizing the Book of Blessings. Giving frequent blessings can give you many rallying points throughout the year – chances to gather your community together in prayer. (And remember to count your blessings as well!)