20. SOLEMN BLESSING OF A FISHING-BOAT

(Approved by the Congregation of Sacred Rites, April 10. 1912)

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.

Then the priest intones the antiphon, which is continued by the chanters; and the first verse of psalm 8 is directly attached to the antiphon (for the music see the music supplement):

Antiphon: O Lord, * our Lord, how glorious is your name over all the earth; * you have exalted your majesty above the heavens.

Psalm 8

After the psalm the antiphon is repeated thus:

All: Ant.: O Lord, our Lord, * how glorious is your name over all the earth.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Lord, be well disposed to our prayers, and by your holy hand bless + this fishing-boat and the fishermen, as you were pleased to let your blessing hover over Noah’s ark in the Deluge. Reach out your hand to them, Lord, as you did to blessed Peter as he walked upon the sea. Send your holy angel from on high to watch over it and all on board, to ward off any threat of disaster, and to guide its course through calm waters to the desired port. Then after a time, when they have had good success in their labors, may you in your loving providence bring them back with glad hearts to their own shores and homes. We ask this of you who live and reign forever and ever.

All: Amen.

P: + A lesson from the holy Gospel according to St. John.

All: Glory be to you, O Lord.

John 21:1-24

On a later occasion Jesus showed himself again to the disciples, this time by the Lake of Tiberias. He did so under the following circumstances: Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples, happened to be together. Simon Peter said to them: “I am going fishing.” “We will go along with you,” they replied. So they set out and got into the boat, and during that entire night they caught nothing. But just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach. The disciples did not know, however, that it was Jesus. “Well, lads,” Jesus said to them, “you have no fish there, have you?” “No,” they replied. “Cast your net to the right of the boat,” He said to them, “and you will find something.” So they cast it, and now they were not strong enough to haul it up into the boat because of the great number of fish in it. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter: “It is the Master!” No sooner did Simon Peter learn that it was the Master than he girt his upper garment about him–for he was wearing little–and plunged into the lake. Meanwhile the other disciples came on in the boat–for they were not far from the shore, only about two hundred yards–dragging along the net full of fish.

When they had come ashore, they noticed hot embers on the ground, with fish lying on the fire and bread. Jesus said to them: “Bring some of the fish you caught just now.” So Simon Peter boarded the boat and hauled the net upon the beach. It was full of fish, one hundred and fifty-three in all, and in spite of the great number the net did not break. “Come, now,” Jesus said to them, “and have breakfast.” Not one of His disciples could find it in his heart to ask Him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Master. Then Jesus approached, took the bread in His hands, and gave them of it. He did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus showed Himself to the disciples after He had risen from the dead.

After they had breakfasted, Jesus said to Simon Peter: “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these others do?” “Yes, my Master,” he replied; “you know that I really love you.” “Then,” Jesus said to him, “feed my lambs.” He asked him a second time: “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Master,” he replied, “you know that I really love you.” “Then,” He said to him, “be a shepherd to my sheep.” For the third time He put the question to him: “Simon, son of John, do you really love me?” It grieved Peter that He had asked him the third time: “Do you really love me?” and he replied: “Master, you know everything; you know that I really love you!” “Then,” Jesus said to him, “feed my sheep. I tell you the plain truth: when you were young, you used to put on your own belt and go where you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your arms for someone else to gird you and carry you where you have no wish to go.” He said this to signify the kind of death by which He was to glorify God. And having said this, He said to him: “Follow me.”

Turning round, Peter saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the same who at the supper had been resting against his bosom and had asked: “Master, who is it that is going to betray you?” So, at sight of him, Peter said to Jesus: “And what about him, Master?” Jesus replied: “If I want him to stay till I return, what difference does this make to you? Your duty is to follow me.” Accordingly, the report became current among the brethren that that disciple was not going to die. But Jesus had not said to him that he was not to die, but simply: “If I want him to stay till I return, what difference does this make to you?”

This is the disciple who is both the witness of these facts and the recorder of these facts; and we know that his testimony is true.

All: Praise be to you, O Christ.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

God, who divided the waters from the dry land and created every living thing they contain; who willed that man should have dominion over the fishes of the sea; who walked on the crest of the waves and stilled the winds and the sea; who miraculously filled the nets of the apostles with fishes; grant, we pray, that your servants may have you as their captain, and so be delivered from all perils, haul into their boats a good catch of fish, and come finally to the port of everlasting blessedness laden with the merits of good works; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.
Let us pray.

We beg you, Lord and Savior, be pleased to bless the labors of your servants, as you once blessed your apostles when you said: “Cast your net to the right of the boat, and you will find something.” Thus gladdened by your bountiful blessing, may we praise you, our Redeemer, now and forevermore.

All: Amen.

Have regard, O Lord, for the prayers of the blessed Virgin Mary, St. Peter and the other apostles, and St. N. (the patron of the boat), and do not disdain the work of our hands. Rather, give us your holy blessing, + keep us from all sin, avert all dangers, and be prodigal with your gifts; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

The priest sprinkles the boat with holy water, saying:

May the peace and blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit, come upon this boat and on all who are to sail in it, and remain forever.

All: Amen.