Jesus has a long history of helping out fishermen.
The Church in her wisdom desires to sanctify every facet of life, including our professions and hobbies. Not surprisingly, one such endeavor that the Church has provided blessings for is the relaxing recreational activity of fishing. Jesus knew the activity very well and called fishermen to be his apostles, even helping them bring in an overwhelming catch of fish.
Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish. (John 20:4-6)
So the next time you think of going out fishing this summer, invite a priest along and ask him to bless your boat. You never know, maybe it will be in God’s will to multiply your fishing efforts. Let’s just hope your fishing boat doesn’t get overloaded in the process!
P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.All: Who made heaven and earth.P: The Lord be with you.All: And with your spirit.Then the priest intones the antiphon:
Antiphon: O Lord, * our Lord, how glorious is your name over all the earth; * you have exalted your majesty above the heavens.
After the psalm the antiphon is repeated thus:All: Ant.: O Lord, our Lord, * how glorious is your name over all the earth.P: The Lord be with you.All: And with your spirit. Let us pray.Lord, be well disposed to our prayers, and by your holy hand bless + this fishing-boat and the fishermen, as you were pleased to let your blessing hover over Noah’s ark in the Deluge. Reach out your hand to them, Lord, as you did to blessed Peter as he walked upon the sea. Send your holy angel from on high to watch over it and all on board, to ward off any threat of disaster, and to guide its course through calm waters to the desired port. Then after a time, when they have had good success in their labors, may you in your loving providence bring them back with glad hearts to their own shores and homes. We ask this of you who live and reign forever and ever. All: Amen.P: + A lesson from the holy Gospel according to St. John.All: Glory be to you, O Lord.
All: Praise be to you, O Christ.P: The Lord be with you.All: And with your spirit. Let us pray.God, who divided the waters from the dry land and created every living thing they contain; who willed that man should have dominion over the fishes of the sea; who walked on the crest of the waves and stilled the winds and the sea; who miraculously filled the nets of the apostles with fishes; grant, we pray, that your servants may have you as their captain, and so be delivered from all perils, haul into their boats a good catch of fish, and come finally to the port of everlasting blessedness laden with the merits of good works; through Christ our Lord. All: Amen. Let us pray.We beg you, Lord and Savior, be pleased to bless the labors of your servants, as you once blessed your apostles when you said: “Cast your net to the right of the boat, and you will find something.” Thus gladdened by your bountiful blessing, may we praise you, our Redeemer, now and forevermore. All: Amen.Have regard, O Lord, for the prayers of the blessed Virgin Mary, St. Peter and the other apostles, and St. N. (the patron of the boat), and do not disdain the work of our hands. Rather, give us your holy blessing, + keep us from all sin, avert all dangers, and be prodigal with your gifts; through Christ our Lord. All: Amen.The priest sprinkles the boat with holy water, saying:May the peace and blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit, come upon this boat and on all who are to sail in it, and remain forever. All: Amen.