Prayers of Blessing for Images of the Sacred Heart and St. Joseph

Order for the Blessing of new images at the Cathedral

This order is inserted immediately after the homily but before the recitation of the Creed. The statues which are to be blessed are situated in the sanctuary of the Cathedral in the area in front of the ambo. The statues are to be appropriately decorated with flowers and lit candles.

The Bishop processes to the statues which are to be blessed, and stands before them.

Turning to the faithful, he addresses them: 

Bishop: My brothers and sisters, we are gathered here today to bless new images which have been installed within our diocesan cathedral for public veneration. Before they are to be blessed, we must be properly disposed and have a clear appreciation of the meaning of this celebration.

When the Church blesses an image or statue and presents it for public veneration by the faithful, it does so for the following reasons: that when we look at the representation of those who have followed Christ faithfully, we will be motivated to seek the city that is to come; that we will learn the way that will enable us most surely to attain complete union with Christ; that, as we struggle along with our earthly cares, we will be mindful of the saints, those friends and coheirs of Christ who are also our brothers and sisters and our special benefactors; that we will remember how they love us, are near us, intercede ceaselessly for us, and are joined to us in marvelous communion.

Today, we have genuine reason to rejoice, because we are about to bless two new images: that of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and that of Saint Joseph, the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The image of the Sacred Heart reminds us our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself up for us with a wonderful love and poured out blood and water from his pierced side – the wellspring of the Church’s sacraments – so that all might draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation. The image of Saint Joseph is reminds us of the just man who was given as spouse to the Virgin Mother of God and set as a wise and faithful servant in charge of the household of the Almighty God to watch like a father over our Lord Jesus Christ. This particular image bears even more significance for the faithful in that it has been erected during this holy year which venerates Saint Joseph as the Patron of the Universal Church, and following a diocesan-wide consecration to his patronage.

The Bishop then says each prayer of blessing, beginning with the image of the Sacred Heart. 

Bishop: Let us pray.

The bishop then pauses briefly in silence and with hands folded. He then says the Prayer of Blessing with his hands outstretched towards the image to be blessed.

 Prayer of Blessing for the Image of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Good Father, lover of the human race,

we praise you for the great love shown us in the sending of your Word.

Born of the Virgin, he became our Savior,

our firstborn brother, like us in all things but sin.

You have given us Christ as the perfect example of holiness:

We see him as a child in the manger, yet acknowledge him God almighty.

We see his face and discern the countenance of your goodness.

We hear him speak the words of life and are filled with your wisdom.

We search the deepest reaches of his Most Sacred Heart

and our own hearts burn with that fire of the Spirit

which he spread in order to renew the face of the earth.

We look on the Bridegroom of the Church,

streaked in his own blood

which flowed through his Most Sacred Heart,

pierced for our own offenses,

but we revere that blood, which washes our sins away.

The Church rejoices in the glory of his resurrection

and shares in the promise it holds.

Lord, listen to our prayer, and bless + this image

of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, your beloved Son.

As your faithful people honor this image of your Son

may they be of one mind with Christ.

May they exchange the image of the old Adam of earth

by being transformed into Christ, the new Adam from heaven.

May Christ be the way that leads them to you,

the truth that shines in their hearts,

the life that animates their actions.

May his Most Sacred Heart become a place of refuge for them

in moments of turmoil and distress.

May Christ always be a light to their footsteps,

a safe place of rest on their journey,

and the gate that opens to them the city of peace.

For he lives there reigning with you and the Holy Spirit,

God for ever and ever.

Response: Amen

The Bishop then takes the aspergillum and imposes holy water upon the newly-blessed image. He then places incense in the thurible and incenses it.

The Bishop then stands before the image of Saint Joseph and invites all to prayer.

Bishop: Let us pray.

The bishop again pauses briefly in silence and with hands folded. He then says the Prayer of Blessing with his hands outstretched towards the image to be blessed.

Prayer of Blessing for the Image of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary


you are praised, adored and loved by your people

for you alone are holy,

and because in your compassion for sinners

you sent into the world your Son,

Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of holiness.

He sent the Spirit to sustain his newborn Church,

a voice that teaches us the secrets of holiness,

a breeze that strengthens and refreshes,

a fire that sears our hearts in love,

the seed of God that yields a harvest of grace.

Today we praise you for the gifts of the Spirit bestowed upon Saint Joseph,

in whose honor we + bless this statue.

As a faithful consecrated to his patronage,

may we always follow in the footsteps of the Lord

while keeping before us his example,

and grow to a maturity measured not by nature,

but by the fullness of Christ.

May we proclaim his Gospel by word and deed

and, shouldering our crosses daily,

expend ourselves for others in your service.

As we carry out our earthly duties,

may we be filled with the Spirit of Christ

and keep our eyes fixed on the glories of heaven,

where you, Father, receive those who will reign with your Son,

for ever and ever.

Response: Amen.

The Bishop then takes the aspergillum and imposes holy water upon the newly-blessed image. He then places incense in the thurible and incenses it.

Mass continues with the recitation of the Creed, which is begun from the Cathedra.

Following the Creed is the Universal Prayer of the Faithful, during which the following intercessions are added:

Addendum to the Universal Prayer of the Faithful

Father, it is your will that in Christ we should have a teacher who is gentle and humble of heart; grant that we may obediently learn from his Most Sacred Heart both kindness and goodness. We pray to the Lord ….

O God of all wisdom, through your Son Jesus Christ you built your Church on the foundation of the apostles; keep their teaching secure among your faithful people. We pray to the Lord ….

Father, in the mysterious design of your providence you willed our Savior’s death on the cross as a victory over death and hell; grant that we may die with him so that we may also rise with him. We pray to the Lord ….

O God, source of all holiness, in the saints you have shown the many splendors of your grace; grant that in them, we may honor your majesty. We pray to the Lord….

In your saints you show your presence and make known your countenance and your word; grant to your faithful that when they honor the saints, especially Saint Joseph, they will find themselves drawn closer to you. We pray to the Lord ….