11. BLESSING OF A SEMINARY

{This blessing is not to be found in the latest edition of the Roman Ritual of 1952, for its composition is of later origin, and was approved by the Congregation of Sacred Rites on May 12, 1953 (see AAS 46 [1954] pp. 105-107).}

The rector of the seminary, or another priest appointed by the Ordinary to bless new seminary buildings (unless the Ordinary himself wishes to perform the rite), goes at the appointed time to the chapel of the seminary and vests there in surplice and white stole. He is assisted by two clerics, both wearing surplices, one of whom carries the aspersory, the other the Ritual. Kneeling at the altar he intones the “Veni Creator,” which is then sung by the seminarians (for the music of this hymn see the music supplement). At the conclusion of the hymn the priest says:

P: Send forth your Spirit and all things shall be recreated.

All: And you shall renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray.

God, who instructed the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, guide us by your Spirit to desire only what is good and so always to find joy in His comfort.

We beg you, Lord, let a breath of your grace prompt our undertakings and guide them along their course, so that our least prayer and work may ever begin in you and end in you; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

Then he receives the aspersory from the assistant and intones the Asperges (see The Sunday Blessing with Holy Water). The antiphon is continued by the seminarians (for the music see the music supplement), and is followed by psalm 50; and if time allows by part of psalm 118.

Meanwhile the priest, assisted by the cleric who carries the holy water stoup, goes around to all the rooms and other places of the seminary, sprinkling them with holy water in the usual way.

He then returns to the chapel and stands before the altar. Glory be to the Father is sung now, even though the psalm may not be finished. After this the priest says:

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.

Hear us, holy Lord and Father, almighty everlasting God, and in your goodness send your holy angel from heaven to watch over and protect all who live in this seminary, to be with them and give them comfort and encouragement; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.
Let us pray.

God, who for the glory of your majesty and the salvation of mankind appointed your only-begotten Son as the eternal High Priest; grant that those whom you are pleased to select as the ministers and dispensers of your mysteries may be filled with the spirit of wisdom, knowledge, and holy fear. Help them to put on Christ and to accept their sacred ministry with a pure heart and blameless conduct, and to persevere in it faithful until death.

God, who gave the Holy Spirit to the apostles while they were at prayer together with Mary, the Mother of Jesus; grant that, while we are preparing for our future ministry in this holy cenacle, we may render a faithful service to your majesty under the protection of our Mother, Queen of the apostles, and thus be made ready to extend the glory of your name by word and by example.

God, who made your Church illustrious by the renowned learning of blessed Thomas, your confessor, and extended her kingdom by his holy life; help us, we pray, to gain a higher understanding of his teaching and a fuller imitation of his integrity; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

Then the priest takes a crucifix and hangs it in a suitable place, the seminary, one previously selected for this purpose. If the place is some distance from the chapel, the participants may go there in procession, singing the hymn, “Vexilla Regis”.

As the priest hangs the crucifix in its place he says:

Lord, let the sign of our salvation dominate this building, and forbid entrance here to the avenging angel; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit.

All: Amen.

Then standing before the cross he says:

Almighty everlasting God, who are in full command of all places under your dominion, and without whose leave nothing occurs; shield this seminary from all harm, and let no evil power work havoc here. By the power of the holy cross and by the operation of the Holy Spirit may a worthy service be rendered to you in this place, and may a holy freedom abound; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.
Let us pray.

Abide with us, O Lord our God, and be a constant help to those who take refuge in your holy cross; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

Making the sign of the cross with his right hand, the priest blesses the building and all who are present, saying:

May the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit, come on this seminary, on all who live here, teachers and students, and on us all, and remain forever. All: Amen.