Tag Archives: Blessing of Herbs

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

OL of Assumption with angels.jpg“those He justified, He also glorified” (Rom

Almighty ever-living God, who assumed the Immaculate Virgin Mary, the Mother of your Son, body and soul into heavenly glory, grant we pray, that always attentive to the things that are above, we may merit to be sharers of her glory.

What was given to Mary, is offered to us: to share in the glory of the Most Holy Trinity. Unlike the Gaga song of “being on the edge of glory,” we Christians are offered the possibility of being in the center of glory. But do we believe it?

Eastern and Western Christians observe on the same day the glorious move
of Mary from this world to the next. The Eastern Christians call today’s feast
the “Dormition,” the falling asleep of the Theotokos and the assumption to
heaven. In the West, we refer to this feast as the Assumption. That Mary,
without decay of the human, was called to heaven body and soul, by God.

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Herbs Blessing, Byzantine style

In an age old tradition of the Church, the faithful experience a blessing of herbs and  flowers on the Solemnity of the Assumption. Here is a blessing taken from the Byzantine ritual and so we ought to say the “Dormition”, this is the proper term in the East for what the Latins call the Assumption of Mary.

O almighty, eternal God, by your word alone You created out of nothing the heavens, earth, sea, and all things visible and invisible. You commanded that the earth give forth plants and trees for the needs of man and animal, each according to its need. In your infinite goodness You ordained that these plants serve not only as food for the animals but also as medicine for the sick body. We beseech you, bless these different plants and fruits and bestow upon them your blessing, and endow them with your power, so that they may serve man and animal like as a defense against all sickness and all that is impure: for You are our God and we give glory to You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever. Amen.

These flowers (or: plants) are blessed and sanctified by the sprinkling of this holy water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Herbs Blessing on the Assumption Solemnity, August 15

It is customary in the Western Church, since at least the 10th century, for the priest to bless herbs on the Solemnity of the Assumption. The Eastern Church likely had a similar formulary much earlier.

As a point of liturgical fact, the Church asks God to bless herbs and flowers –and thus us– to remind all of us of the gifts God has given us for our sustenance, healing and beauty. In many places the faithful had all their flowers blessed, especially those closely associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary. Herbs blessing, therefore, is another example of giving thanks, a key theological and liturgical point in our life of faith. While customary it is not likely to be used in many parishes. The collects for the herbs blessing rich and savory.

The Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy (2001) says of herbs blessing:

Thumbnail image for Herbs.jpg

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (15 August) is deeply imbedded in popular piety. In many places the feast is synonymous with the person of Our Lady, and is simply referred to as “Our Lady’s Day” or as the “Immacolada” in Spain and Latin America.

In the Germanic countries, the custom of blessing herbs is associated with 15 August. This custom, received into the Rituale Romanum (200), represents a clear example of the genuine evangelization of pre-Christian rites and beliefs: one must turn to God, through whose word “the earth produced vegetation: plants bearing seeds in their several kinds, and trees bearing fruit with their seed inside in their several kinds” (Gen 1, 12) in order to obtain what was formerly obtained by magic rites; to stem the damages deriving from poisonous herbs, and benefit from the efficacy of curative herbs.

This ancient use came to be associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary, in part because of the biblical images applied to her such as vine, lavender, cypress and lily, partly from seeing her in terms of a sweet smelling flower because of her virtue, and most of all because of Isaiah 11, 1, and his reference to the “shoot springing
from the side of Jesse”, which would bear the blessed fruit of Jesus.

The Order of Blessing of Herbs is found here.

Blessing of Herbs on the Solemnity of the Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary

The Blessing of Herbs and Flowers in Honor of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary


After the Asperges if it is a Sunday, otherwise immediately before Mass, the priest, standing before the altar and facing the people who hold the sheaves of new grain, garden vegetables, flowers and new herbs and the finest fruits of their orchards in their hands, says in a clear voice:


P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.


Pray Psalm 64


P: Glory be to the Father.

All: As it was in the beginning.

P: The Lord will be gracious.

All: And our land will bring forth its fruit.


P: You water the mountains from the clouds.

All: The earth is replenished from your rains.


P: Giving grass for cattle.

All: And plants for the benefit of man.


P: You bring wheat from the earth.

All: And wine to cheer man’s heart.

P: Oil to make his face lustrous.

All: And bread to strengthen his heart.

P: He utters a command and heals their suffering.

All: And snatches them from distressing want.

P: O Lord, hear my prayer.

All: And let my cry come unto you.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: And with your spirit.


Let us pray.

Almighty everlasting God, who by your word alone brought into being the

Herbs.jpgheavens, earth, sea, things seen and things unseen, and garnished the earth with plants and trees for the use of man and beast; who appointed each species to bring forth fruit in its kind, not only for the food of living creatures, but for the healing of sick bodies as well; with mind and word we urgently call on you in your great kindness to bless + these various herbs and fruits, thus increasing their natural powers with the newly given grace of your blessing. May they keep away disease and adversity from men and beasts who use them in your name; through Christ our Lord.


All: Amen.


Let us pray. God, who through Moses, your servant, directed the children of Israel to carry their sheaves of new grain to the priests for a blessing, to pluck the finest fruits of the orchard, and to make merry before you, the Lord their God; hear our supplications, and shower blessings + in abundance upon us and upon these bundles of new grain, new herbs, and this assortment of produce which we gratefully present to you on this festival, blessing + them in your name. Grant that men, cattle, flocks, and beasts of burden find in them a remedy against sickness, pestilence, sores, injuries, spells, against the fangs of serpents or poisonous creatures. May these blessed objects be a protection against

assumption El greco.jpgdiabolical mockery, cunning, and deception wherever they are kept, carried, or otherwise used. Lastly, through the merits of the blessed Virgin Mary, whose Assumption we are celebrating, may we all, laden with the sheaves of good works, deserve to be taken up to heaven; through Christ our Lord.


 All: Amen.


Let us pray. God, who on this day raised up to highest heaven the rod of Jesse, the Mother of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, that by her prayers and patronage you might communicate to our mortal nature the fruit of her womb, your very Son; we humbly implore you to help us use these fruits of the soil for our temporal and everlasting welfare, aided by the power of your Son and the prayers of His glorious Mother; through Christ our Lord. All: Amen.


And may the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit, come upon these creatures and remain always.


All: Amen.


They are sprinkled with holy water and incensed.

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]yahoo.com.
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