BLESSING OF PILGRIMS
In accord with ancient ecclesiastical discipline, pilgrims who are to visit the holy shrines should obtain a letter of recommendation from their Ordinary or pastor before they set out. Having put their affairs in order, they prepare themselves with sacramental confession, assist at Mass and receive holy communion. In this Mass the Collect for pilgrims (pro re gravi) is said. After Mass they kneel before the priest who says the following (for the music see the music supplement):
Antiphon: May the almighty and merciful Lord lead you in the way of peace and prosperity. May the Angel Raphael be your companion on the journey and bring you back to your homes in peace, health, and happiness.P: "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel! * He has visited His people and brought about its redemption.
All: He has raised for us a stronghold of salvation * in the house of David His servant,
P: And redeemed the promise He had made * through the mouth of His holy prophets of old--
All: To grant salvation from our foes * and from the hand of all that hate us;
P: To deal in mercy with our fathers * and be mindful of His holy covenant,
All: Of the oath he had sworn to our father Abraham, * that He would enable us--
P: Rescued from the clutches of our foes--* to worship Him without fear,
All: In holiness and observance of the Law, * in His presence, all our days.
P: And you, my little one, will be hailed 'Prophet of the Most High'; * for the Lord's precursor you will be to prepare His ways;
All: You are to impart to His people knowledge of salvation * through forgiveness of their sins.
P: Thanks be to the merciful heart of our God! * a dawning Light from on high will visit us
All: To shine upon those who sit in darkness and in the shadowland of death, * and guide our feet into the path of peace."
P: Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All: As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Antiphon: May the almighty and merciful Lord lead you in the way of peace and prosperity. May the Angel Raphael be your companion on the journey and bring you back to your homes in peace, health, and happiness.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Our Father (the rest inaudibly until:)
P: And lead us not into temptation.
All: But deliver us from evil.
P: Save your servants.
All: Who trust in Thee, my God.
P: Lord, send them aid from Thy holy place.
All: And watch over them from Sion.
P: Let them find in Thee, Lord, a fortified tower.
All: In the face of the enemy.
P: Let the enemy have no power over them.
All: And the son of iniquity be powerless to harm them.
P: May the Lord be praised at all times.
All: May God, our helper, grant us a happy journey.
P: Lord, show us Thy ways.
All: And lead us along Thy paths.
P: Oh, that our life be bent.
All: On keeping Thy precepts.
P: For the crooked ways will be made straight.
All: And the rough places plain.
P: God has given His angels charge over you.
All: To guard you in all your undertakings.
P: Lord, hear my prayer.
All: And let my come unto Thee.
P: The Lord be with you.
All: And with thy Spirit.
Let us pray.
BLESSING OF RUCKSACKS AND EMBLEMS
O Lord whose word makes all things holy, bless, we beseech Thee, this emblem and rucksack to be used on pilgrimage. May he who carries them arrive safely at the Monastery of Golgotha and the Holy City of Rome, the objectives of his journey. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
They are sprinkled with Holy Water.
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, (it is handed over) shoulder this rucksack which will help you during your pilgrimage. May the fatigue of carrying it be expiation for your sins, so that when you have been forgiven you may reach your destination full of courage, and when your pilgrimage is over, return home full of joy. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Let us Pray.
O God, who led the children of Israel dry-shod through the sea, and showed the way to the three Magi by the guidance of a star; grant this pilgrim, we pray, a happy journey and peaceful days, so that, with Thy holy angel as a guide, he may safely reach his destination and finally come to the haven of everlasting salvation.
O God, who led Thy servant, Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldeans, and kept him safe in all his wanderings; may it please Thee, we pray, also to watch over this servant of Thine. Be to him, O Lord, a help in his preparations, comfort on his way, shade in the heat, shelter in the rain and cold, a carriage in tiredness, a shield in adversity, a staff in insecurity, a haven in shipwreck; so that under your guidance he may happily reach his destination, and finally return safe to his home.
Lord, we beg Thee to hear our request that you guide the steps of Thy servant along the path of well-being that comes from Thee, and that in the midst of this fickle world he may always live under Thy protection.
Grant, we pray, O almighty God, that Thy pilgrim finds a safe route; and heeding the admonitions of blessed John, the precursor, come finally to Him whom John foretold, Thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Hear, O Lord, our prayers, and kindly accompany Thy servant on his journey; and as Thou art present everywhere lend him Thy aid at all times, so that with Thee as his shield he will be defended from all dangers and pay Thee his homage of gratitude; through Christ our Lord.
May the peace and blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, come upon you and remain with you forever.
They are sprinkled with holy water.
(If there is only one pilgrim the prayers are said in the singular; but if the priest who bestows the blessing is a member of the pilgrimage they are said in the plural.)