It is worn in choir at the solemn offices; it is the official sacral dress of the lower clergy in their liturgical functions; it is worn by the priest when administering the sacraments, undertaking benedictions, and the like; the use of the alb being nowadays almost exclusively confined to the mass and functions connected with this.
The tradition that the utterance of the name in the daily benedictions ceased with the death of Simeon the Just, two centuries or more before the Christian era, perhaps arose from a misunderstanding of Menalioth, 109b; in any case it cannot stand against the testimony of older and more authoritative texts.
Sacerdotal benedictions are not indeed sacraments - means of grace ordained by Christ himself, but sacramentals (sacramenta minora) ordained by the authority of the Church and exercised by the priests, as the plenipotentiaries of God, in virtue of the powers conferred on them at their ordination; "that whatever they bless may be blessed, and whatever they consecrate may be consecrated."
Benedictions, moreover, are twofold: (a) invocative, i.e.
Though the giving of blessings as a sacerdotal function is proper to the whole order of priests, particular benedictions have, by ecclesiastical authority, been reserved for the bishops, who may, however, delegate some of them; i.e.