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In the Pontifical are found the blessings that are performed de jure by bishops, such as the solemn blessing of persons already referred to, the forms for blessing kings, emperors, and princes at their coronation, and those before mentioned as of episcopal prerogative.The great treasury of ecclesiastical blessings is the Roman Ritual.
This she has done by entrusting their administration to those who are in sacerdotal orders.
The solitary case in which one inferior to a priest is empowered to bless, is where the deacon blesses the paschal candle in the ceremonies of Holy Saturday. For in the instance referred to the deacon acts by way of a deputy and, moreover, employs the grains of incense already blessed by the celebrant.
For this curious custom authors cite a text from the Epistle to the Hebrews : "And without all contradiction that which is less is blessed by that which is greater" (vii, 7).
It would seem an overstraining of the passage to say that it affords an argument for maintaining that an inferior minister cannot bless one who is his superior in rank or dignity, for the text either merely ennunciates an incident of common usage, or means that the inferior by the fact that he blesses is the greater, since he acts as the representative of God.
The custom of giving blessings goes back to the very earliest times.
Since, then, blessings, in the sense in which they are being considered, are entirely of ecclesiastical institution, the Church has the power to determine who shall have the right and duty to confer them.
The principal liturgical blessings recognized and sanctioned by Church are contained in the Roman Ritual and the Pontifical.
The Missal, besides the blessing given at the end of Mass, contains only those blessings associated with the great functions incidental to certain days of the year, such as the blessing of palms and ashes.
The range of objects that come under the influence of the Church's blessing is as comprehensive as the spiritual and temporal interests of her children.