Category Archives: Sacred Liturgy & Sacraments

Blessing of Easter Food

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A very long-standing custom in the Church is the blessing of the Easter basket of food stemming from the Lenten observance of fasting from meat, dairy and eggs and other food associated with these items. Still today, we fast from meat on Fridays in Lent and frequently you’ll encounter some observing a special fast during the sacred Three Days of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. The Church filled with joy at the announcement of Christ’s Resurrection from the dead brings with a new joy to our hearts, minds and bodies. As an old Slovenian saying goes, a blessing comes through the stomach! Today, Father Milan blessed the Easter food of Saint Rose of Lima Church (Newtown, CT).


The Order of Blessing of Easter Food


All make the sign of the cross


Priest/Deacon: For our sake Christ became obedient, accepting even death, death on a cross. Therefore God raised him on high and gave him the name above all other names. Blessed be God for ever.


R. Blessed be God for ever.


Priest/Deacon: Throughout Lent we have been preparing for the resurrection of the Lord by prayer, almsgiving, and fasting. Our Lenten fasting is a reminder of our hunger and thirst for holiness which is satisfied only by Christ who feeds and nourishes us by His word and sacraments. When we gather at our first meal of Easter may this food be a sign for us of that heavenly banquet to which the Lord calls us.


Read Deuteronomy 16:1-8 or John 6:1-14 and Psalm 104:1-2, 5-6,10,12-4,24,35.




The Son of God who invites us to the Paschal feast stands ready to help. Let us call upon Him in our need.


R. Lord, prepare us for the feast of life.


That Easter may find us cleansed of sin and ready to live anew our Christian faith, we pray to the Lord. R.


That the bread we share may be a reminder of the Bread of Life we share in the Eucharist, we pray to the Lord. R.


That we may be ready to give from our table to those who hunger and thirst, we pray to the Lord. R.


That we may one day enjoy the banquet of the Lord in the heavenly Kingdom, we pray to the Lord. R.


Priest/Deacon: Christ taught us to pray for our daily bread and so we dare to say:


Our Father…


Prayer of Blessing


God of glory, the eyes of all turn to You as we celebrate Christ’s victory over sin and death. Bless us and this food of our first Easter meal. May we who gather at the Lord’s table continue to celebrate the joy of his resurrection and be admitted finally to His heavenly banquet. Grant this through Christ our Lord.


R. Amen.


May Christ always nourish you and strengthen you in faith and love, now and for ever.


R. Amen.


And may almighty God bless you all, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit.


R. Amen.


The priest sprinkles the food and the people with holy water.

Palm Sunday 2010

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Franciscan winemakers cheer the heart

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In October I posted a
piece on the Franciscan Friars’ wine making hobby
. Franciscan Friar
of the Renewal
Brother Giuseppe Maria Siniscalchi had an idea a few years ago
to make homemade wine when he wasn’t hitting the theology books. The friars do more than study, serve the poor, run the Catholic Underground— they cheer the heart with their wine which is a very human thing to do. This is the
second year for Our Lady of Cana wines. Perhaps this may be a new franchise for the friars!!! I’m looking forward to a 3rd year of winemaking. AND I am willing to be the wine-quality control guy.

With grapes handpicked and materials donated by friends, and
help from the other friars, Brother Giuseppi made a great barrel of wine. Of course, nature did her part and God His… For the
last six months the wine has matured –and we’ve been eagerly waiting for the maturing process to work– in a basement corner in an oak barrel. The
wine now sufficiently mature, today was the time to bottle.

Deacon James
Ferreira, Ken Riello (a 1st yr Dunwoodian) and yours truly set out to watch,
assist and taste the fruit of the earth. James was most kind in bringing some
great bread, cheese and soppressata.

fr Giuseppe & JFerreira ciphening.jpgfrs John Paul & Ignatius bottling.jpgfr Bonaventure corking2.jpgPAZ & fr Charles satisfying a thirst.jpg

We had great fun bottling nearly 275 bottles of wine. James, I hear, has a case of wine for his first Mass in May! AND this event was SO Catholic!

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Always thinking liturgically, the
soon-to-be-priested, Friar Deacon Charles blessed the new wine using this
, but here is another version of the blessing of wine:

The Blessing of Wine in Honor of Saint John the Evangelist

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

Pray Psalm 22 and then the Our Father

V. And lead
us not into temptation.

R. But deliver us from evil.

V. Preserve thy servants.

That trust in thee, my God.

V. Send them aid, O Lord, from heaven.

R. And from
Sion watch over them.

V. Let the enemy be powerless over them.

R. And the son
of evil do nothing to harm them.

V. And should they drink anything deadly.

May it not hurt them.

V. O Lord, hear my prayer.

R. And let my cry come unto

V. The Lord be with you.

R. And with your spirit.

Let us pray.

Holy Lord,
Father Almighty, eternal God! Who didst will that thy Son, equal to thee in
eternity and substance, should descend from heaven and in the fullness of
time take temporal birth of the most holy Virgin Mary, so that He could seek
the lost and wayward sheep and carry it on His shoulders to the sheepfold, and
could cure the man fallen among robbers of his wounds by pouring in oil and
wine– do thou bless + and sanctify + this wine which thou hast vintaged for
man’s drink. Whoever partakes of it on this holy solemnity, grant him life in
body and soul. By thy goodness let it be to him strength in the pilgrimage to
prosper him on the way, that his journey may come to a happy termination.
Through the same Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

Let us pray.

O Lord Jesus Christ,
Who didst call thyself the true vine and thy holy apostles the branches, and
didst desire to plant a chosen vineyard of all who love thee, bless + this wine
and impart to it the power of thy benediction.+And as thy beloved disciple John,
Apostle and Evangelist intercedes for them that partake thereof, grant them
security from all deadly and poisonous afflictions and constant good health of
soul and body. Who lives and reigns forever.

R. Amen.

Let us pray.

O God, thou
gives to man bread to eat and wine to drink — bread to nourish the body and
wine to cheer the heart. And as thou didst confer upon blessed John, thy
beloved disciple such favor that not only did he himself escape the poisoned
potion, but could restore life to others so overcome; do thou grant to all that
drink this wine spiritual joy and eternal life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ,
thy Son, who with Thee, lives and reigns, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one
God, forever and ever.

R. Amen.

Dominicans and the Liturgy: recovering patrimony

The Order of Friars Preachers (the Dominicans) of the Province of Saint Joseph are now showing renewed interest in their own liturgical patrimony.
See this page for list of resources The Dominican Rite: A Guide to the Low Mass
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One of many reasons this is good news to me is that finally the Dominicans are beginning to address their own liturgical tradition viz. their life and mission in the Church. The Liturgy has and ought to continue to be a central source of contemplation and worship of God that will influence all aspects of their life (the so-called 4 pillars) and their preaching. Time will tell on how this renewed interest in the Dominican Liturgy will impact life in the priory, the monasteries, the parishes and even Providence College. Some of the friars are not going to be all that pleased about the old Dominican Rite and will likely be obstructionists. But we need to pray for these poor souls.

One last reason this is a good thing, the good and excellent Liturgy is not only essential to the fraternal life, evangelization, personal conversion but it also inspires solid vocations. I have met a number of men who were turned-off by the Dominicans because of their refusal to entertain the possibility of a richer, more historic use of the Dominican liturgical tradition. The vocation director aborted the vocations of a number of men because of his dim understanding of the Liturgy; with renewed liturgical verve the Dominicans will likely flourish in great proportions. Sadly, the Dominicans’ loss is the gain of dioceses and other religious orders.
Blessed Humbert of Romans, pray for us!!!!

Blessing of Saint Joseph’s Altar

(The Blessing of the Altar frequently takes place the
evening before the feast, March 18th. If there is a procession to the Altar, a
hymn may be sung on the way.)


Crowning of St Joseph.jpeg

O, glorious Saint Joseph, we stand
before this Altar with joyful and grateful hearts. We lovingly present to you
the labor of our hands and the dedication of our hearts that have fashioned
this Altar in your honor. We again place ourselves under your powerful
protection. Help us follow your example of complete trust and faith in Divine
Providence. Open our minds and hearts to love and serve the poor, the suffering
and those rejected or ignored by society. As a family, teach us to love and
honor each member of our families with the love and reverence you had for Jesus
and Mary. As a nation, inspire in us the will and the way to live in peace with
all nations of the world that in our day we can experience the fulfillment of
Jesus’ prayer–“Peace be to you.” Grant this through Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen. 

V. O, Glorious Saint Joseph,
through the love you bear to Jesus Christ and the glory of His name,

R. Hear
our prayers and obtain our petitions.


Lord Jesus, bless this Altar,
all this food, the candles and all those who visit it. We ask this in the name of
the Father, + and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

(As the Altar is being
blessed and incensed, the Litany of St. Joseph is said or a hymn is sung.)


Remember, O most pure spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, my sweet protector,
Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or implored your
aid without obtaining relief. Confiding therefore in your goodness, I come
before you and humbly supplicate you. O, despise not my petitions, foster
father of our Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

(Now that the Altar
is blessed, guests are invited to visit the Altar and offer their own prayers
to Saint Joseph.)

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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