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Blessing
of Pro-Life Pilgrims

In January, many pro-life pilgrims travel to Washington, D.C. for the annual March for Life. You may have a group of pilgrims from your parish or school traveling to this national event. While not everyone is able to travel to the nation’s capital, countless local marches and rallies are hosted in cities and dioceses around the country. Blessings are available to send off and welcome back those traveling from your parish, school, or faith community. (A priest or deacon will need to offer the blessing. If the celebration of Mass is preferred as the beginning or end of a pilgrimage, it may be concluded with a blessing of the pilgrims taken from the order of blessings listed below.)
 

Order for the Blessing of Pro-Life Pilgrims Before Their Journey*

Print:

(Designed for use only by a priest or deacon.)

 

Gathering Song

Introductory Rites

 

Celebrant: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

 

Assembly: Amen.

Celebrant: May God, our life, our strength, and our salvation be with you all.

Assembly: And with your spirit.

Celebrant: Brothers and sisters, as we (you) set out on this journey, let us reflect upon the reasons for this undertaking. Let our (your) desire for justice and dignity for all human life strengthen our (your) resolve. May we (you) be examples of faith, of hope, and of love, so that others may be strengthened and enriched by our (your) presence among them. May the Lord remain with us (you) and guide our (your) steps along right and peaceful ways during this journey.

 

Reading of the Word of God

 

Lector: A reading from the Book of Tobit. (5:4-8; 6:7)

Tobiah went to look for someone acquainted with the roads who would travel with him to Media. As soon as he went out, he found the angel Raphael standing before him, though he did not know that this was an angel of God. Tobiah said to him, “Who are you, young man?” He replied, “I am an Israelite, one of your kinsmen. I have come here to work.” Tobiah said, “Do you know the way to Media?” The other replied, “Yes, I have been there many times. I know the place well and I know all the routes.I have often traveled to Media; I used to stay with our kinsman Gabael, who lives at Rages in Media. It is a good two days’ travel from Ecbatana to Rages, for Rages is situated at the mountains, Ecbatana out on the plateau.” Tobiah said to him, “Wait for me, young man, till I go back and tell my father; for I need you to make the journey with me. I will, of course, pay you. Raphael replied, “Very well, I will wait for you; but do not be long.”

Afterward they traveled on together till they were near Media.

The Word of the Lord.

Assembly: Thanks be to God.

 

Responsorial Psalm (91:1-2, 3-4ab, 4c-6, 10-11)

R/. The Lord has put angels in charge of you, to guard you in all your ways.

 

You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
Say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

R/. The Lord has put angels in charge of you, to
guard you in all your ways.


For he will rescue you from the snare of the fowler,
from the destroying pestilence.
With his pinions he will cover you,
and under his wings you shall take refuge.

R/. The Lord has put angels in charge of you, to
guard you in all your ways.


His faithfulness is a buckler and a shield.
You shall not fear the terror of the night
nor the arrow that flies by day;
Nor the pestilence that roams in darkness,
nor the devastating plague at noon.

R/. The Lord has put angels in charge of you, to
guard you in all your ways.


No evil shall befall you,
nor shall affliction come near your tent,
For to his angels he has given command about you,
that they guard you in all your ways.

R/. The Lord has put angels in charge of you, to
guard you in all your ways.

 

Intercessions

 

Celebrant: God is the beginning and end of every road
we take. In confidence we call upon him, saying:

Assembly: Lord, hear our prayer.

Celebrant: Father all-holy, of old you made yourself
the guide and the way for your people as they wandered
in the desert; be our protection as we begin
this journey, so that we may return home again in
safety. We pray to the Lord:
R/.

You have given us your only Son to be our way to
you; make us follow him faithfully and unswervingly.
We pray to the Lord:
R/.

You guide your pilgrim Church on earth through
the Holy Spirit; may we seek you in all things and
walk always in the way of your commandments.
We pray to the Lord:
R/.

You lead us along right and peaceful paths; grant
that we may one day see you face to face in heaven.
We pray to the Lord:
R/.

You gave us Mary as the image and model for following
Christ; grant that through her example we
may live a new life. We pray to the Lord:
R/.

 

Prayer of Blessing

 

(The Celebrant and/or those of the parish community who are sending the group forth are invited to extend their hands in a gesture of blessing.)

Celebrant: All powerful God,
You always show mercy to those who love you
and you are never far away for those who seek you.
Remain with your servants on this journey
and guide their way in accord with your will.
Shelter them with your protection by day,
give them the light of your grace by night,
and, as their companion on the journey,
bring them to their destination in safety.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Assembly: Amen.

 

Concluding Rite

 

Celebrant: May the Lord guide us (you) and direct
our (your) journey in safety.

Assembly: Amen.

Celebrant: May the Lord be our (your) companion
along the way.

Assembly: Amen.

Celebrant: May the Lord grant that the journey we
(you) begin, will end happily through his protection.

Assembly: Amen.

(It is preferable to conclude the celebration with an appropriate song.)

 
*Adapted from the Book of Blessings, approved for use in the Dioceses of the United States of America by National Conference of Catholic Bishops and confirmedby the Apostolic See. New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co. 1989. Chapter 8: Order for the Blessing of Pilgrims on their Departure. “Intercessions” and “Prayer of Blessing,” [602; 603], 262-263.

Order for the Blessing of Pro-Life Pilgrims As They Return

from Their Journey

Print:

(Designed for use only by a priest or deacon.)

 

Introductory Rite

 

Celebrant: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
 

Assembly: Amen.

Celebrant: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

 

Assembly: Who made heaven and earth.

Celebrant: Our pilgrimage has been a privileged period of grace given us by God. As we return home, let us live up to the vocation God has given us: to be a
chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people God claims for his own, everywhere proclaiming with charity, courage and conviction the inherent dignity
and incomparable worth of every human life from conception till natural death.

 

Reading of the Word of God

(An appropriate text of sacred Scripture may be read here, e.g., Tobit 12:6-7; Acts 8:26-35; or Luke 24:28-35.)

Responsorial Psalm

An excerpt may be chosen from, for example, Psalm 15, 19, 23, 31, 34, 40 or other appropriate Psalm text.


Intercessions


Intercessions may be taken or adapted from the Book of Blessings (pp. 268-269), or other appropriate intentions may be composed.

Prayer of Blessing

Celebrant: Blessed are you, O God
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
From all races of the earth
you have chosen a people dedicated to you,
eager to do what is right.
Your grace has moved the hearts of these, your friends,
to love you more deeply and to serve you more
generously.
We ask you to bless them, so that they may tell of
your wondrous deeds
and give proof of them in their lives.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

 

Assembly: Amen.

 

 

*Adapted from the Book of Blessings, Chapter 8: Order for the Blessing of Pilgrims before or after their Return. “Prayer of Blessing” [614], 265-270.