The current pandemic is a sufficient pastoral reason to avoid the blessing of individuals in the usual manner of touching the throat of each person with crossed candles while saying the words of the blessing. Among the challenges is the sanitizing of the candles after they have touched each person.
This year of 2021, as provided for in the Book of Blessings, n. 1628, the Blessing of throats is to be given to all who are gathered and not individually. The priest or deacon gives the blessing to all assembled by extending hands, without crossed candles, over the people while saying the prayer of blessing. Those together respond, Amen.
The Blessing is to be done immediately after the concluding prayer of the General Intercessions. In order to provide for more of the faithful to receive this sacramental, it is recommended that the Blessing of Throats be given in this manner at Masses on the weekends preceding and following February 3.
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