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August 04, 2006

Comments

Joy Schoenberger

Jimmy, what is scapular enrollment? I've never heard of such a thing.

off

Maureen

Me neither. I always thought that brown scapulars came pre-blessed, and that you just started wearing 'em.

Of course, I never knew that you needed a rosary blessed either, since my old one was blessed before I was even born. So that doesn't prove anything.

Animadversor

Based on the example that the Church sets with the use of the sign of the cross in the sacraments, we should understand its use in the sacraments sacramentals in a similar light.

and

and it doesn't want people scrupuling scrupling about this.

Eowyn

My 7 year old son has just gotten a scapular. I was unsure whether he needed to be enrolled or not to get the benefits from it. So, I'd appreciate some more light shed on the matter too, please, Jimmy.

Michael

This is pretty definitive I think...

People are enrolled in the Scapular only once by a priest or authorized person.

The Scapular can be replaced afterwards by a medal, which has on one side the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and on the other, the image of Mary.

The Scapular holds us to live as authentic Christians in line with the teaching of the Gospel, to receive the sacraments, to profess our special devotion to the Blessed Virgin, which should be expressed each day, at least by saying the Hail Mary three times.

From:

http://carmelnet.org/scapular/rules/rules.htm

Patrick

Semi-funny story I heard about a priest I knew. At his first mass he started to make the sign of the cross over the gifts, then, halfway through, realized that he was early, and something else to say first. He stopped in the middle, and then made a wax-on, wax-off motion to erase the misplaced sign of the cross in midair. :)

Follow-up question: why do we get sacramentals, like rosaries, blessed by a priest? It seems unlikely that the Blessed Mother would look more favorably upon the prayers of one holding a blessed rosary than the praryes of one who is not holding a blessed rosary. What about those who pray a rosary in a car, listening to a tape or CD, and do not hold anything?

Tim J.

"...The Scapular can be replaced afterwards by a medal..."

I understand that there is some debate about that.

Cajun Nick

Maureen,

The scapulars (and rosaries, and other items) may indeed come to you already blessed, if they come as a gift.

As I understand it, however, if one purchases a scapular (and other items), then they are NOT blessed; blessed items cannot be sold.

I did not know this until I heard it recently on Catholic Answers LIVE. I think that it was a show with Fr. Vincent Serpa.

DJ

Are you sure a Rosary needs to be blessed Maureen? My wife and I find outselves without one many times and just count on our fingers (luckily we both have 11 fingers ;)

Off topic but related, does anybody know about the red scapula (The Passion)? I bought one and have been wearing it. It came with a note saying that investiture was no longer a requirement, but I read somewhere else that the Priest still needs to bless it regardless.

Jason

Tim, the Carmelites state it can be replaced with a Medal. Who else needs to say it?

(Another) Jason

I don't recall my Priest saying that formula. He just said a little prayer and blessed the Scapular. I'm pretty sure he intended to give me the blessing attached to enrollment. Is the formula absolutely necessary? Do I have to get formally "enrolled" again?

J.R. Stoodley

Jason,

Tim, the Carmelites state it can be replaced with a Medal. Who else needs to say it?

If the brown scapular is the result of a private revelation from Mary (I thought it was) then maybe she needs to say it.

Perhaps that is the nature of the controversy.

Two other possibilities I thought of:
What if one Carmelite order says one thing and the other says another?
What if the Carmelites say the metal can replace the scapular but the Church hasn't approved that?

I also would like a clarification on the need to get a Rosary blessed. I am a convert and never heared this before. I know you can get it blessed, but I had no idea that there was any sort of requirement. This doesn't sound right.

Joy Schoenberger

You do not have to use a blessed rosary for your prayers to be effective.

Tim J.

"Tim, the Carmelites state it can be replaced with a Medal. Who else needs to say it?"

I don't know, I just have a foggy recollection of reading about it somewhere.

I can sure see that a medal would be more convenient and comfortable, but it seems like a little inconvenience and discomfort might be part of the POINT of wearing the scapular.

J.R. Stoodley

Just a "foggy recollection" on my part, but I thought the use of the metal was envisioned for if you go to the beach or something like that, not an outright replacement of the scapular. I just remembered that.

Ed Pie

I think the rule of thumb for the wearing of a medal versus an actual scapular is when the scapular would be so inconvenient as to interfere with your work, or if it would be dangerous, and possibly also at reasonable risk of being damaged or lost, then a medal could be used instead, but the scapular itself is generally preferred since a medal is less similar to the Carmelite garb.

I could hardly speculate about a job where having something around your neck under your clothes would be dangerous, though. Maybe if I were a lifeguard at some beachfront machine shop.

I thought it was licit to sell blessed objects as long as the price was the same as the unblessed object would have sold for.

If I have a blessed rosary, and it breaks, so I get some links and beads replaced, does the blessing of the whole cover the new pieces? What if every piece is eventually replaced that way?

Is anyone familiar with the five-fold scapular? It sounded interesting but the scant and cryptic information I could find about enrolling in the non-brown parts suggested I could only have one at a time, which doesn't exactly make sense.

Puzzled

This is one of those "weird things" that those of us not born Catholic nor have been through RCIA just don't understand (or find in Scripture).

What is a scapular. I don't even know what one looks like. Is it like the funny underwear Mormons and Masons wear, only different? Or something else?

Is it a manditory dogma that must be believed?

I just backspaced. I don't know enough to even ask sensible -questions-.

J.R. Stoodley

Puzzled,

A scapular is a private devotion. It is no dogma. You wear it under your shirt, and I think it usually has pictures of Jesus' and Mary's hearts on it. The brown scapular is supposed to be a sort of Carmelite habit and being invested in it brings you spiritually into the Carmelite family. It is a reminder to be holy, like a metal or a cross around your neck.

There are other scapulars besides the brown one. I think the red scapular is if you want to devote yourself in a special way to the Passion of Christ. There is a green scapular that I think has something to do with the Immaculate Conception but I'm not sure. I guess you can look it up if you want. The brown one is the only really famous one though and I think it is the original.

I have seen them, and they are basically two brown patches of fabric, one with an image of the Sacred Heart on it and one with an image of the Immaculate heart. The two squares are attached at the corners with brown straps that go over the sholders, so the squares end up hanging around I guess your chest or belly on one side and your back on the other.

Matthias

I too am interested in the 5-fold scapular. It is essentially 5 separate scapulars that are combined in one. One could simply be enrolled in all 5 scapulars separately however the Church at one point approved a rite of enrollment for all 5 at once.

The problem I see with this and other scapulars is that often the copy of the rite for installment packaged with them are old Pre-VaticanII rituals. I don't think these are validly preformed by a priest unless he also has permission to practice a Tridentine mass.

Has anyone else verified the ritual that comes printed with your scapulars? I've found often they are not current rituals?

Are these valid? Illicit?

I would really like to be installed in a 5-fold scapular but I can't find a modern ritual for installment only the old?

J.R. Stoodley

Matthias,

Abstractly, there was not a sudden complete revolution in Catholicism with Vatican II such that everything predating it was invalidated. I do not see why a "modern" ritual for installment would be necessary. I do not know for sure, but might it just be that no changes were made? Also I was not under the impression that all pre-Vatican II stuff (like the old formula for blessing holy water) required permission to practice the "Tridentine" mass in order to do them, though I do not know for sure. I would think anything not done durring mass would be a seperate matter.

In any case I'm sure if you just approach a good priest and ask to be enrolled he will do it properly, maybe after some research of his own if he is not familiar with the ceremony.

Rosemarie

+J.M.J+

As some have pointed out, a rosary need not be blessed for one to use it. A blessing is for the benefit of the user, not so much for the object itself (though blessed objects should be treated respectfully, out of respect for God's blessings). If one uses a blessed rosary, one will both benefit from praying the Rosary and from the blessing on the object. Again, though, it's not absolutely required.

Blessed objects can be sold as long at the blessing is not a reason given as to why it should be purchased ("Buy this - it's been blessed!"), and, as someone pointed out, the price shouldn't be increased because of the blessing. Attempting to sell a blessing would be simony - though you can't really "sell" a blessing, anyway. From what I gather, once a blessed item is sold it ceases to be blessed; the new owner must bring it to a priest to get it blessed again. So mentioning that something you're selling has been blessed would be a moot point, and charging extra for it would effectively be cheating the buyer (on top of the simony!).

Scapulars: The Carmelites and many other religious orders wear an apron-like garment that goes over their shoulders as part of their habit. It is called a "scapular" (from Latin scapulare, "relating to the shoulders"). The various scapulars used by the laity (brown, blue, black, red, etc.) are based on that religious garment; they are like "miniature" versions better-suited for lay use.

The scapular medal was authorized by Pope St. Pius X in 1910 as a substitute for those who cannot wear the traditional cloth scapular. Many argue that the medal is intended only for extreme situations; that the substitution should not be made casually.

I don't think the Pre-Vatican II rituals for scapular investiture are all necessarily illicit today. If they haven't been officially replaced, they should still be valid. The Church's official Book of Blessings has a blessing ritual suitable for group investiture, but I don't think it's required for private investiture of an individual. When the Carmelite priest invested me many years ago, he simply took the scapular, blessed it, placed it over my shoulders and said a prayer over me.

The scapular used for the investiture must be blessed. Once one is invested, however, one can wear unblessed scapulars from then on, for the blessing then resides within the individual. The same goes for investiture in the Miraculous Medal and other sacramentals.

In Jesu et Maria,

Anon

Posting anon. this time. Maybe someone can help me with this question/problem I have.

I was enrolled and used to wear the scapular, but don't anymore. To explain, I'd like to sum up some of what I've read above and add some of the things I've heard about the scapular as well:

1. You can substitute a medal (with permission).
2. You can only wear a medal while doing something that makes the scapular impossible to wear, like swimming, bathing, or possibly sleeping.
3. You can't wear a medal instead of the scapular. Period.
4. If you remove the scapular while swimming etc. or substitute a medal you don't receive the graces/protections of the scapular.
5. You must replace your scapular the minute it shows signs of wear. If even a bit of Mary's image or the words of the promise have faded, it's no longer a scapular, and you don't receive any graces/protections for wearing it.
6. True scapulars are made of 100 percent wool. If your scapular is made of less than 100 percent wool or is made of any other substance, it's not a true scapular and you don't receive any graces/protections for wearing it.

I could probably go on, but these examples suffice for my question: At what point does the wearing of the scapular cease to be a pious custom and holy devotion, and begin to be a dangerous and pernicious superstition? If the true purpose of the scapular, as a poster said above, is "a reminder to be holy, like a metal or a cross around your neck..." then why do some who wear the scapular warn others that failure to do it "right" removes them from the spiritual benefits? And why is there so much disagreement on what constitutes the "right" way to wear the "true" scapular?

Augustine

What does one do if one does not know whether a sacramental has been blessed?

Here's the specific example: My grandmother died last year and she had a box full of sacramentals. There are some saint cards, some rosaries, and several scapulars. Most of these were completely neglected and are in various states of disrepair. I did my best to untangle the scapulars. I noticed one of the rosaries is missing beads. Many of the saint cards are torn. I do use one of the rosaries that is in good shape.

My question would be, firstly: I have no idea whether or not the rosary I am using is blessed or not. Should I have it blessed?

My second question would be what to do with all of these abused sacramentals? Do they need to be buried? Is this something I can do myself, or does it require a priest?

Rosemarie

+J.M.J+

>>>3. You can't wear a medal instead of the scapular. Period.

Of course you can wear the Scapular Medal instead of the Brown Scapular. Why else would Pope St. Pius X have instituted it?

>>>4. If you remove the scapular while swimming etc. or substitute a medal you don't receive the graces/protections of the scapular.

I got this off the Internet:

According to Father John Hardon's Catholic Dictionary the scapular medal was authorized as a substitute by Pope Saint Pius X in 1910. Investiture requires the scapular. After that the medal may be worn for any reason even for reasons of convenience. The scapular medal has all the same indulgences that are associated with cloth scapular.

What sense would there be in instituting the Scapular Medal if it didn't have all the same indulgences as the cloth scapular?

>>>5. You must replace your scapular the minute it shows signs of wear. If even a bit of Mary's image or the words of the promise have faded, it's no longer a scapular, and you don't receive any graces/protections for wearing it.

Where did you hear that one? I've never heard that before. Y'know, the original Carmelite scapular (the habit as mentioned above) doesn't have a picture of Mary printed on it, but it's still valid. Also, I think the Brown Scapular-portion of the Five-fold Scapular is blank, but it's also valid. So I don't see why a Brown Scapular needs a picture of Blessed Mother.

>>>6. True scapulars are made of 100 percent wool.

Yes, it's symbolic of Christ the Lamb of God.

>>>If your scapular is made of less than 100 percent wool or is made of any other substance, it's not a true scapular and you don't receive any graces/protections for wearing it.

I suppose God could always make allowances for those who don't know any better.

>>>I could probably go on, but these examples suffice for my question: At what point does the wearing of the scapular cease to be a pious custom and holy devotion, and begin to be a dangerous and pernicious superstition?

Superstition is attributing to creatures powers that belong to
God. If you don't do that you're safe.

>>>why do some who wear the scapular warn others that failure to do it "right" removes them from the spiritual benefits? And why is there so much disagreement on what constitutes the "right" way to wear the "true" scapular?

As a former member of the Blue Army, I've read a lot about the Brown Scapular. It seems to me that some promoters of the Brown Scapular are worried that the medal might become so popular as to eventually replace the cloth scapular completely. That someday every Catholic will run around wearing the medals and no one will wear the original Brown Scapular. That's one reason why they emphasize that the medal should only be subtituted for the scapular under extreme circumstances. They don't want the original cloth scapular to go the way of the dodo.

Some people also feel that the cloth scapular encourages modesty in dress, since it is typically worn under ones clothes (though it doesn't have to be, BTW. The original scapular in the Carmelite habit is an outer garment). They seem to fear that the Scapular medal might be used by those inclined to dress immodestly ("But my clothes won't cover the cloth scapular!").

Maybe understanding the concerns of those who insist on the cloth over the medal would help a little. They're not necessarily just being rigid and legalistic; they've got genuine concerns. Just don't let it discourage you from wearing the Brown Scapular.

If you have to occasionally substitute a Scapular medal in a certain situation, go ahead! You can always put the cloth scapular back on. Or wear both; in addition to my Brown Scapular I wear a five-way medal which has a Scapular medal incorporated into it. I have no intention of giving up the cloth scapular, though.

In Jesu et Maria,

Rosemarie

+J.M.J+

>>>My question would be, firstly: I have no idea whether or not the rosary I am using is blessed or not. Should I have it blessed?

Sure, why not? If it's already blessed then it won't matter anyway, and if it isn't then you'll have a blessed rosary!

Maybe you'd like to get your bishop to bless it. Then if you use it on June 29 you can get a plenary indulgence (under usual conditions, of course).

>>>My second question would be what to do with all of these abused sacramentals? Do they need to be buried? Is this something I can do myself, or does it require a priest?

Blessed sacramentals are typically disposed of by burial or burning. I'm not sure whether burning is proper for disposal of blessed scapulars (I know it's okay for blessed palm), so I bury mine. The broken rosaries should be buried in a place where they are not likely to be found. Or, if you can find a rosary maker who takes donations of broken rosary parts to refurbish old rosaries, you can give them to her.

In Jesu et Maria,

Rosemarie

+J.M.J+

I found the text of Pope St. Pius X's institution of the Scapular Medal online. He clearly states that those who wear the medal, "shall be enabled to share in and gain all the spiritual favors (not excepting what is known as the Sabbatine Privilege of the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel), and all the privileges attached to each."

I believe "not excepting ... the Sabbatine Privilege" means that it is included in the benefits of wearing the medal.

Now, here is a typical warning from scapular promoters as to why the medal should not replace the cloth scapular:

NOTE* It is the desire of the Pope that the Scapular Medal should not be worn in place of the Cloth Scapular without sufficient reason. Mary cannot be pleased with any one who substitutes the medal out of vanity, or fear to make open profession of religion. Such persons run the risk of not receiving the Sabbatine Promise. The medal has never been noted for any of the miraculous preservations attributed to the Brown Cloth Scapular.

Notice what it says. The medal should not be substituted "out of vanity, or fear to make open profession of religion". Those are not good enough reasons. It goes on to say that "Such persons run the risk of not receiving the Sabbatine Promise". Note that they "run the risk", not that they certainly will not receive it. Also, they don't "run the risk" because the medal doesn't have that priviledge attached to it (the Pope said it does!), but because of their wrong motives in wearing the medal over the cloth (vanity or fear to make open profession of religion).

It also argues that "The medal has never been noted for any of the miraculous preservations attributed to the Brown Cloth Scapular". Meaning all the miraculous divine interventions associated with the Brown Scapular (that we know of, at least) involved the cloth, not the medal. That doesn't necessarily mean that God can't perform a miracle by virtue of the medal, just that they don't know of any having happened in the past (though the Scapular medal is admittedly new compared to the cloth).

It's a rather weak argument, IMHO. Plenty of miracles have been performed through the Miraculous Medal, for instance.

I guess we can sum this up by saying that the Scapular Medal is not intended to replace the cloth scapular, the cloth is to be preferred over the medal, and if the medal is worn it should only be done with right intentions (not sinful ones like vanity, fear, immodestly of dress, etc.)

In Jesu et Maria,

Rosemarie

+J.M.J+

Please forgive me for all the posts on this topic (I know I'm bending Da Rulz), but I found another good quote on medal -vs- cloth from a Carmelite:

"The popes in modern times have been solicitous in their encouragement of the Scapular devotion. St. Pius X permitted the substitution of a Scapular Medal for the cloth Scapular in recognition of the changed circumstances of life, precisely to encourage the dedication to Mary signified by the Scapular. For any reason, even simple convenience, the faithful invested in any Scapular except that of the Third Orders, may substitute a Scapular Medal which need only be carried on the person. The Medal was not intended as a new form of the Scapular devotion, but only as an aid to its continual practice. Catholics should be instructed to make free and wise use of both Scapular and Medal according to their judgment and circumstances. The permission for the Medal reflects the mind of the Church that the Scapular itself is only the exterior sign of an interior devotion."

The only reason I'm posting so extensively is to help discourage excessive scrupulosity re. the wearing of the Brown Scapular. It's obviously interfering with Anon's devout use of that sacramental.

In Jesu et Maria,

Beeline

I am so glad this subject came up;
I have been seriously considering the brown scapular and bought about 4 of them
at a local Catholic book store. Considered the ramifications of my person life situations and came to the conclusion that I couldnt reliably do this.


1) I was a little put off by the 2 blessings and getting a priest to follow instructions....probably the least of my worries.

2)The scapular is very inconvenient, I sleep without a shirt on, I surf without
a shirt on(I'd hate to drown without being able to wear the scapular). So consequently between surfing year round and taking a piece of wool out into the ocean(it will disentigrate) and inherent difficulties with sleeping with it bare chested, I decided to pass.

However, now that I hear the Medal can be substituted after an initial time period...I think I'm going to take the plunge!

Anon

Rosemarie, thank you for all the information! I have a scapular medal and will now start using it. God bless! :)

Rosemarie

+J.M.J+

I found the following on the Internet:

Broken Rosaries Wanted

Wanted: Broken rosaries, beads, chains and crucifixes to be used to make complete rosaries for the missions. Since 1992, Louis Alfrey and his wife have repaired old rosaries and sent them to the missions. They will also accept holy articles, cancelled stamps, used eyeglasses, Catholic magazines and National Geographic magazines. They will fix broken rosaries for free, and return to sender, if they are marked separately. Send old rosaries to Alfrey at 23 Oak Ave., Camp Hill, Pa. 17011-4237 or call him at 717/761-5036.

The info is a few years old, but it may still be current.

Also, here is a summary of the information I gathered from the Internet on how to dispose of old or damaged blessed sacramentals:

Holy Water and Blessed Oils: Pour down the Sacrarium in your parish church -or- dig a hole in the ground on a part of your property where no one is likely to walk. Pour the holy water or oils into the hole and fill it back in with dirt.

Statues: Smash them and bury the pieces in the ground in a place where they are not likely to be found.

Rosaries: Tear them apart and bury them [or donate the pieces to rosary makers! :-) ] Once it is torn apart it is no longer useful as a rosary and so the blessing is gone.

Blessed ashes: pour them into a natural lake, river or ocean.

Blessed candles or incense: Let them burn down entirely, releasing them into the air.

Books, Scapulars and Holy Cards: Burn them and bury the ashes. You can also tear them apart before burning. It was traditional in Ireland to build a nd bless a bonfire on the Vigil of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (June 23), in which old or damaged sacramentals were disposed of.

Blessed Palms: Give them back to your parish church prior to Ash Wednesday, or dispose of by burning as above.

Metal objects: Must be melted down.

Apparently, the proper way to dispose of blessed sacramentals is to send them back into the "elements": earth, water, air or fire.

Hope that helps. God be with you all.

In Jesu et Maria,

karal

The Brown Scapular is a "mini" Carmelite habit. It may be any two pieces of brown cloth (may or may not be wool, many orthodox carmelites now wear 100% cotton, especially in warm countries). The two pieces of cloth are joined together by a string, band of cloth or even chain. The pieces of brown cloth are to be positioned at the front & back of the wearer. It may or may not be blessed, you will still receive the benefits if your intention of wearing it is in accordance with the promises of Our Lady. You may or may not be enrolled, you don't have to be wearing it when you're in the shower or swimming & you will still receive the benefits of the promises should you come to "grief" while you're not wearing it, as you had the intention of putting it back on.

Please don't be scrupulous about Our Mother's promises..!

Daniel

I was enrolled in the brown scapular last year by an Opus Dei priest. I was with a group of friends who were all being enrolled, and perhaps we did it without proper understanding (we all did want to recieve the scapular, but I think none of us were quite sufficiently educated on what it meant when we were going in to it. Now, I am wondering whether I have somehow joined the Carmelites without knowing it. I realize that the scapular unites me in some sense to the "carmelite family", but what I am wondering specifically is whether my enrollment would preclude me from joining another religious order if I wished to...for instance, if I decided to join the Dominicans or Franciscans, would my Carmelite scapular be a problem?

Of course, this is all unlikely, I do not feel called to any religious order...however, I am just wondering whether my decision to be enrolled in the brown scapular (which I did wish to make) had effects which I was not aware of.

tr

Daniel,

Not to worry - you haven't been shanghied into the Carmelite Order. Technically you've been invested into the Confraternity of the Brown Scapular. You do get to share in the graces from the Order but your only responsibilities are to live a good Christian life. (And pray the rosary every day or say The Little Office of the BVM or say the Liturgy of the Hours. But don't get scrupulous about these, either.)

Some Day

I have looked and never heard of a case of a miracle with the replacement medal.
I have one to shower/swim/exercise and another one for normal use. The s/s/e one is plastic covered(transparent, but there is cloth under it.
The forumla is neccesary, and not just a simple blessing. Once imposed, no need to bless even a new one. It is a habit, ergo it something that is part of you. Good thing to have. Yet read the requirements for the privileges.
1. Must wear. 2. Observe chastity according to our state in life 3. Recite the Little Office of Our Blessed Mother ( the Rosary can be substituted for the Office. The faculty to sanction this change was granted to all CONFESSORS by Pope Leo XIII in the Decree of Indulgences in June of 1901.)
Not an amulet so follow the conditions.

DJ

Apparently, the proper way to dispose of blessed sacramentals is to send them back into the "elements": earth, water, air or fire.

What about plastic items? The Dinosaurs are all gone, so there's nothing we can do about them?

Seriously though, is this all only for blessed items? For example, I have a cheap plastic rosary ring (one of those rings that have ten beads on it) that I know for sure isn't blessed and its broken. Can I just trash that without worrying about treating it in a special way? I would assume so, but I wasn't sure so I've been holding on to it til I could find out for sure.

Rosemarie

+J.M.J+

>>>What about plastic items?

I guess they would be buried, probably broken apart first. Good question, DJ; I guess you've just pointed out another downside of plastic religious articles. [besides the fact that many of them look cheap and some cross the line into kitsch territory :-)]

>>>Seriously though, is this all only for blessed items?

Yes, these instructions are really supposed to be for blessed items. It should be okay to discard a broken plastic rosary ring that is not blessed - but if you still feel bad about it try cutting it in a few pieces first, so that it's no longer recognizable as a rosary ring.

In Jesu et Maria,

Lynea

+ I don't know where Jimmy gets his answers, but this one is incorrect. The Church most definitely has set aside RUBRICS for (yes, it is true) specific sacramentals and blessings and even gives approvals of blessings of certain sacramentals by various religious orders. The book the Church has for the blessing of sacramentals is called THE ROMAN RITUAL (sometimes known as the "English Ritual" -- which is merely the Roman Ritual translated in English from the Church's official language, which is latin). While it is true not all blessings are contained here, the rubrics for how a priest must respect and execute rubrics for other blessings is also contained in this official book.

Taken from CHAPTER I: GENERAL RULES CONCERNING BLESSINGS:
"A reserved blessing which is conferred by a priest who does not
have the required delegation is valid, but illicit, unless the
Holy See has declared otherwise in the reservation." --http://ewtn.com/library/PRAYER/ROMAN2.TXT

WORDS DO MATTER. If it were not the case, the Holy Mother Church would not have things like the "English Ritual". (Jimmy gave you his opinion, I am giving you the objective facts. You can research them for yourself and see that this information is, by no means, a secret. It's not frequently the type of information common to the public only because only priests can use and execute the blessings contained in the English Ritual and other similar blessings, such as with the brown scapular.)

Here's a quote from an article published on EWTN (http://ewtn.com/library/PRAYER/ROMAN2.TXT) on the same subject.

Also from CHAPTER I: GENERAL RULES CONCERNING BLESSINGS:"Both constitutive and invocative blessings are invalid if the
forms prescribed by the Church are not observed."

And it continues...
"religious superiors and their priest subjects whom they
delegate, in their own churches and oratories and in churches of
nuns who are under their spiritual care.

N.B. Rule No. 5 with its five parts is now obsolete in view of
the new "Instruction" of September 26, 1964.

6. In every blessing outside of Mass the priest should be vested
in surplice and stole of the color proper to the day, unless the
rubrics prescribe otherwise.

7. The one who blesses should stand with head uncovered; and at
the beginning of each blessing, unless otherwise stated, he says:

V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. May He also be with you.

He then says the proper prayer or as many as are given.

Lastly he sprinkles the object with holy water, and if called
for, incenses it, without saying anything.

8. When a priest blesses he should be assisted by a server who
holds the holy water and aspersory, and he should follow the
Ritual or the Missal.

9. Care should be taken that during a blessing nothing indecorous
is placed upon the altar, e.g., eatables. But things of this
nature should be placed upon a table conveniently arranged."


This is what the Church says, and although it is at odds with Mr. Aitkin's views, I would recommend consenting with the Church who spells it out for us.

(on www.wdtprs.com, you can purchase giftware with the slogan: "SAY THE BLACK. DO THE RED." in reference to a reminder to priests to follow the rubrics.)

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