Blessing of Wine for the Feast of St. John the Apostle
(Source: Feast Day Cookbook)
Leader: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who has made heaven and earth.
Leader: The Lord be with you.
All: And also with you. (I love that the kids all answered "And with your spirit!")
Leader: Let us pray. Be so kind as to bless and consecrate with Your right hand, Lord, this cup of wine, and every drink. Grant that by the merits of Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist, all who believe in You and drink of this cup may be blessed and protected. Blessed John drank poison from the cup, and was in no way harmed. So, too, may all who this day drink from this cup in honor of Blessed John, by his merits, be freed from every sickness by poisoning and from any harms whatever. And, when they have offered themselves in both soul and body, may they be freed, too, from every fault, through Christ our Lord.
Leader: Bless, Lord, this beverage which You have made. May it be a healthful refreshment to all who drink of it. And grant by the invocation of Your holy name that whoever tastes of it may, by Your generosity receive health of both soul and body, through Christ our Lord.
I diluted the children's spiced wine with lots of 7-up and also had some Sparkling Grape Juice as another alternative for those who were not interested in trying the (well boiled) wine.
It was not exactly a repeat of his last reaction to St. John's Love, but close! :)
While we all ate Sean read us a short story all about St. John's Love from Saints For Young People for Everyday of the Year:
St. John was a fisherman in Galilee and was called to be an apostle with his brother, St. James the Greater. Jesus gave these sons of Zebedee the nickname, "sons of thunder." St. John was the youngest of all the apostles and was dearly loved by the Lord. At the Last Supper, it was John who was permitted to lean his head on the breast of Jesus, and John was the only apostle who stood at the foot of the Cross. The dying Jesus gave the care of His Blessed Mother Mary to this beloved apostle. Turning to Our Lady, He said, "Behold your mother." So for the rest of her holy life on earth, the Blessed Mother lived with St. John. He alone had the great privilege of honoring and assisting the all-pure Mother of God.
John wrote one of the four Gospels, in which he shows us that Jesus is truly God. He also wrote the last book in the Holy Bible, called the Apocalypse, and three Letters to Christians, which we find in the Bible, too. All his long life, St. John taught Christians to love one another, and he himself practiced great charity. Once when he heard that a young Christian whom he knew and loved had become an outlaw and a robber, he set off at once to find him. Old as he was, the Saint rode into the outlaw territory alone, and was taken prisoner. As soon as the robber saw St. John, he turned away in shame.
"Son," cried the apostle, "why are you running away from me, your father, an old man without weapons? There is time for repentance. I will answer for you to Jesus Christ. I am ready to lay down my life for you. I am sent by Christ!" The young robber stopped when he heard those words. Suddenly he began to weep. He was won over by the love of St. John. Before he left that city, the beloved Apostle made sure that the young man had become a good member of the Church once more.
When he had grown so old and weak that he had to be carried to church, St. John used to say to his people over and over again, "My little children, love one another." The Christians once asked him why he spoke to them. St. John answered, "Because iy is the word of the Lord, an if you keep it, you will be doing enough."
Today I will try to resemble St. John at least in one of his three great virtues - purity of heart, charity toward all, and love for the Blessed Mother.
St. John the Evangelist, Pray for us!