On January 7, Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich performed the Chinese Lion-awakening Ritual before presiding a Eucharist at the Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein, Illinois.
The ritual is necessary to “bless” a new lion dance costume and consists in offering food and incense to the sky idol. Two candles are lit so that the idol can see the offering.
The “blessing” involves dotting paint onto the lion’s eyes, nose, mouth, ears and body. Cupich executed this part. He made the following invocation,
“Good fortune upon your head, miraculous light glittering to your eyes, your ears capturing sounds from all directions. May the most favorable auspicious big fortune and great profit be to you throughout the whole year, from the beginning all the way to the end.”
Lion costumes are used at the Chinese New Year for the lion dance which aims at scaring away the Nian monster and at giving luck for the coming year.
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