Blessing ceremony

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: What are the rules around – for lack of a better term – a blessing ceremony? When is it allowed to be a layperson vs when should it be a priest? I understand there are times when a layperson can bless. Like a parent to a child, an epiphany home blessing, sprinkling holy water in a room or car. But what if a Church is planning a pet blessing, and having a woman do the blessing while dressed in an alb and read from the book of blessing? 

My first thought is that it sounds a little fishy and wrong, but I’m wanting to make sure this isn’t just a gray area before I bring up my concerns. Thank you. 


A: The Book of Blessings does permit lay people to conduct certain blessings, as does Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers provided by the USCCB.

At a parish, a laywoman may wear an alb and lead an approved blessing as long as no deacon or priest is there. In one of them is present, he should lead the blessing.