Friday, May 18, 2018
SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST BONFIRE & BLESSING ATLANTA DIOCESE
Blessing of the Bonfire
The parish of St Francis de Sales in Mableton (Atlanta Diocese)will have the annual Blessing of the bonfire on the Vigil of the Feast of saint John the Baptist at 5:30 pm Saturday June 23th and invites all Catholic men to come (please note this is a MALE ONLY event-if you are a father you can bring your son) The festivities are sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. Bring a lawn chair, we will cookout, smoke cigars, enjoy a beverage, and burn old sacramentals, sing and pray. Please bring a side dish to share. A FSSP priest will be in attendance for conversation. Immerse yourself in Catholic culture. For directions see www.francisdesales.com
One of the most ancient blessings in the Roman Ritual is the Blessing of a bonfire on the Vigil of the Nativity of St John the Baptist. ( The Vigil is June 23rd). Pursuant to Summorum Pontificum you can ask your priest to utilize the Roman Ritual (in addition to the Missal &Breviary) and can ask him to perfom this blessing at your Church
If you are able to have your priest bless a bonfire here is the english translation of the Blessing for you to follow along:
BLESSING OF A BONFIRE
on the Vigil of the Birthday of St. John the Baptist
conferred by the clergy outside of church
In the Church's veneration of her saints the cult of John the Baptist had from earliest times and continues to have a most prominent and honored place. John gave testimony of the true light that shines in the darkness, although he proclaimed in utter humility: "He must increase, but I must decrease." And the Master also spoke in highest praise of His precursor: "I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist." Attuned to the words of the Gospel the Christians of former times were filled with love and enthusiasm for this saint, and expressed a justifiable conviviality at the approach of his feastday by lighting a bonfire the night before in front of their churches, in the market-place, on the hilltops, and in the valleys. The custom of St. John bonfires, indicative of a people with unabashed and childlike faith, continues in some places to this day.
P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who made heaven and earth.
P: The Lord be with you.
All: May He also be with you.
Let us pray.
Lord God, almighty Father, the light that never fails and the source of all light, sanctify this new fire, and grant that after the darkness of this life we may come unsullied to you who are light eternal; through Christ our Lord.
The fire is sprinkled with holy water; after which the clergy and the people sing the following hymn (for the music see the music supplement):
Hymn: Ut queant laxis
O for your spirit, holy John, to chasten
Lips sin-polluted, fettered tongues to loosen;
So by your children might your deeds of wonder
Meetly be chanted.
Lo! a swift herald, from the skies descending,
Bears to your father promise of your greatness;
How he shall name you, what your future story,
Scarcely believing message so transcendent,
Him for a season power of speech forsaketh,
Till, at your wondrous birth, again returneth,
Voice to the voiceless.
You, in your mother's womb all darkly cradled,
Knew your great Monarch, biding in His chamber,
Whence the two parents, through their offspring's merits,
Praise to the Father, to the Son begotten,
And to the Spirit, equal power possessing,
One God whose glory, through the lapse of ages,
P: There was a man sent from God.
All Whose name was John.
Let us pray.
God, who by reason of the birth of blessed John have made this
day praiseworthy, give your people the grace of spiritual joy,
and keep the hearts of your faithful fixed on the way that leads
to everlasting salvation; through Christ our Lord.