May God, the source and origin of all blessing,
grant you grace,
pour out his blessing in abundance,
and keep you safe from harm throughout the year. Amen.
May he give you integrity of faith,
endurance in hope,
and perseverance in charity
with holy patience to the end. Amen.
May he order you days and your deeds in his peace,
grant your prayers in this and in every place,
and lead you happily to eternal life. Amen.
And may the blessing of almighty God,
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
come down on you and remain with you for ever. Amen.
–Roman Missal, Solemn Blessings, “The Beginning of the Year”-
As the Christmas season continues and the new calendar year opens, I was particularly struck by the solemn blessing that our priest prayed over us at today’s Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God.