Tuesday, June 6, 2023

In Revival of Ancient Rite, Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia Blessed Wax Agnus Dei Discs

H.H. the Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia
vested according to the ancient rite
for blessing the Agnus Dei wax discs.
By Jean DuBois

ROME-RUTHENIA 6 June 2023 (NRom)

On Trinity Sunday, following the Divine Liturgy, H.H. Bishop Rutherford I of Rome-Ruthenia blessed wax discs bearing the image of the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God). This is a revival of an ancient ceremony and done according to the current use of the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Rite in the United Roman-Ruthenian Church. Wax images of the Agnus Dei are blessed by the head of a Church and distributed to the faithful. This practice dates at least to the 9th century. The reverse of the discs (the ones used in this ceremony were around 3 inches in diameter) bears the name and coat of arms of the Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia. 

In the ancient rite, a container of water is blessed with fragrances and the Holy Chrism. The Agnus Dei images in wax are then submerged in the water and thus are considered to be baptized. The various fragrances in the holy oils impart a pleasant scent that remains in the discs for at least some time. 

The Agnus Dei discs are typically given with a card attesting to the blessing and its virtues. According to the card, "the sight or touch of the image of the Agnus Dei in this disc of wax should inspire the faithful to dwell on the Mysteries of our Redemption, be moved to praise, venerate, and extol the goodness of Almighty God to us, in the hope of obtaining pardon for their sins, and to be cleansed from all stain of sin."

Agnus Dei wax discs after being blessed.

Many miracles and virtues have been attached to the Agnus Dei sacramental. These are: To foster piety, banish tepidity, deliver from temptation, preserve from vice, preserve from eternal ruin and dispose to virtue; To cancel venial sins and purify from the stain left by grievous sin after it has been remitted in the Sacrament of Penance; Protection against sudden and spiritually unprovided death; Banish evil spirits; Dispel fears occasioned by evil spirits; Protection in combat, and the power to ensure victory; Protection against poison; Protection against the snares of the wicked; Protection against false accusations; Protection against illness and an efficacious remedy against illnesses; Protection against the ravages of pestilence, epidemics and infectious diseases; Protection against bouts of epilepsy; Protection for mothers and babies against peril and provide for a safe and easy delivery; Protection against shipwrecks; Protection against lightning and floods; Protection against hailstorms, tempests, tornados, lightning and hurricanes which are circumvented or dispelled; Protection against poison and its effects; Through Divine Intervention, protection against the snares, wiles and frauds of Satan which should not prevail.