JUST TOO COOL: Sunday – Feast of the Transfiguration – special blessing of GRAPES
Go buy some grapes and take them to the priest for the Feast of the Transfiguration (Sunday, 6 August), with a page from the Rituale Romanum (go to p. 345 – Benedictio uvarum), or cut and paste the English text (below, or here) and ask the priest to bless them.
The Roman calendar has many little treasures which remind us of how our Faith and the Church’s calendar, the rhythm of temporal and spiritual life, are integrated in our seasons.
This is the time of year with the first grapes of the harvest are blessed. Together with the Transfiguration of our Lord, the blessing of grapes – an eschatological symbol – shows that Holy Church is already in the end time, though we wait for its completion.
Here is the text for the blessing of grapes, for those who don’t have Latin:
V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who hath made heaven and earth.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray.
Bless, we beseech Thee, O Lord, this fresh fruit of the vine,
which Thou hast graciously brought to full ripeness
with the dew of heaven, abundant rain, and calm and fair weather.
Thou hast given them for our use;
grant that we may receive them with thanksgiving
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, the True Vine,
who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost,
God for ever and ever.
(And they are sprinkled with holy water.)
I was delighted by the reference to “dew of heaven… rore caeli“. You might recall the controversy over the reference to “dew” when the new, corrected 2011 ICEL translation was being prepared.
The cultivation of certain types of grapes requires special conditions.
In a contrast to the benefits of dew lauded in the prayer of the blessing, however, dew isn’t always good for grapes. Dew helps fungus