I was roaming through the Roman Ritual (The official book of blessings for the church) with a few friends in the Library at Marian and came across the: “Deprecatory Blessing Against Pests.” Below is the full text, read it and laugh, enjoy, and marvel at the beautiful simplicity and faith in God.
Something that seems to have been lost in the church in recent times is the relying on God for help. In the Old Testament we read how God instructed the leaders of the people to take their sick and ill to the priest to be blessed, prayed over, and healed. Christians seem to have lost our reliance and utter faith in God for help in our time of need. The church has a host of blessings and prayers that open our lives to receive God’s grace. So many traditions, etc. are beginning to be reclaimed and devotions are being recaptured in the church. Consider the many different ways in which you can receive God’s grace in your life. Seek him out! Find him! Deepen your prayer life! Receive his grace and love!
Here’s the delightful blessing I referenced earlier, enjoy it. Think of the reliance that the people must have had on God!
DEPRECATORY BLESSING AGAINST PESTS
(mice and rats, locusts, worms, etc.)
The priest vests in surplice and purple stole, and coming to the field or place infested with these creatures, says:
Antiphon: Arise, Lord, help us; and deliver us for your kindness’ sake.
Ps 43.1: O God, our ears have heard, our fathers have declared to us.
All: Glory be to the Father.
P: As it was in the beginning.
All Ant.: Arise, Lord, help us; and deliver us for your kindness’ sake.
P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who made heaven and earth.
P: Lord, heed my prayer.
All: And let my cry be heard by you.
P: The Lord be with you.
All: May He also be with you.
Let us pray.
We entreat you, Lord, be pleased to hear our prayers; and even though we rightly deserve, on account of our sins, this plague of mice (or locusts, worms, etc.), yet mercifully deliver us for your kindness’ sake. Let this plague be expelled by your power, and our land and fields be left fertile, so that all it produces redound to your glory and serve our necessities; through Christ our Lord.
Let us pray.
Almighty everlasting God, the donor of all good things, and the most merciful pardoner of our sins; before whom all creatures bow down in adoration, those in heaven, on earth, and below the earth; preserve us sinners by your might, that whatever we undertake with trust in your protection may meet with success by your grace. And now as we utter a curse on these noxious pests, may they be cursed by you; as we seek to destroy them, may they be destroyed by you; as we seek to exterminate them, may they be exterminated by you; so that delivered from this plague by your goodness, we may freely offer thanks to your majesty; through Christ our Lord.
I cast out you noxious vermin, by God the Father almighty, by Jesus Christ, His only-begotten Son, and by the Holy Spirit. May you speedily be banished from our land and fields, lingering here no longer, but passing on to places where you can do no harm. In the name of the almighty God and the entire heavenly court, as well as in the name of the holy Church of God, we pronounce a curse on you, that wherever you go you may be cursed, decreasing from day to day until you are obliterated. Let no remnant of you remain anywhere, except what might be necessary for the welfare and use of mankind. Be pleased to grant our request, you who are coming to judge both the living and the dead and the world by fire.
The places infested are sprinkled with holy water.