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'For unto us a child is born'


On Dec. 27, the Sunday after Christmas, the Solemnity of the Holy Family will be celebrated. Pope Francis has announced that during this Jubilee Year of Mercy, Holy Family Sunday will be the Jubilee Day for Families worldwide.
 Archbishop Gregory Aymond has asked that a special blessing and prayers for families be included in all Masses that day. He also asks that families take advantage of the Catholic household blessing for a family that was written by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for use by families in their homes.

The head of each household would lead it by using the following blessing rite:

General Blessing for a Family or Household
(From “Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers,” USCCB)

The celebration of the blessing provided here is a suitable means of fostering the Christian life in the members of a family.

All make the sign of the cross.

The leader greets those present in the following words:


Leader: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all, now and forever.

Response: Amen.

In the following or similar words, the leader prepares those present for the blessing:

Leader: From the Sacrament of Marriage the family has received newness of life and the grace of Christ. The family is especially important to the Church and to civil society, for it is the primary life-giving community.

In our celebration today we call down the Lord’s blessing upon us, so that we may continually be instruments of God’s grace to one another and witnesses to faith in all the circumstances of life.

With God as our help we fulfill our mission by conforming our entire life to the Gospel and so witness to Christ before the world.

One of those present or the leader reads a text of sacred Scripture.

Reader: Listen to the words of the first Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (12:12-14).

“As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit. Now the body is not a single part, but many.”

The Word of the Lord.

Response: Thanks be to God.

The intercessions are then said.

Leader: Christ the Lord lived among us and chose to be part of a family and to enrich it with his blessings. Let us humbly ask his favor and protection on this family.

Response: Lord, keep our family in your peace.

Leader: Through your own obedience to Mary and Joseph you consecrated family life; make this family holy by your presence. For this we pray:

Response: Lord, keep our family in your peace.

Leader: You made your own family the model of prayer, of love and of obedience to your Father’s will; by your grace make this family holy and make it rich with your gifts. For this we pray:

Response: Lord, keep our family in your peace.

After the intercessions, the leader invites all present to say the Lord’s Prayer. The leader says the prayer of blessing with hands joined:

O God, you have created us in love and saved us in mercy, and through the bond of marriage you have established the family and willed that it should become a sign of Christ’s love for his Church. Shower your blessings on this family gathered here in your name. Enable those who are joined by one love to support one another by their fervor of spirit and devotion to prayer. Make them responsive to the needs of others and witnesses to the faith in all they say and do. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Response: Amen.

The leader may sprinkle all with holy water brought home from the church. The leader concludes by saying:

Leader: May the Lord Jesus, who lived with his Holy Family in Nazareth, dwell also with our family, keep it from all evil, and make all of us one in heart and mind.

Response: Amen.

The blessing may conclude with singing “Now Thank We All Our God” or another appropriate song.

Now thank we all our God/ With heart and hands and voices/ Who wondrous things has done/ In whom his world rejoices/ Who from our mother’s arms/ Has blessed us on our way/ With countless gifts of love/ And still is ours today.

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