When my children were all young, we had different little customs that we adopted as part of our daily or weekly routines. Usually we picked them up because I had read about them and learned of their efficacy.
As the kids got older and I found myself in the midst of a busy house of adolescents and little ones, some of these things went by the wayside.
I am picking some of them back up as the house is somewhat quieter (those who know me, don’t laugh).
One of these is the parental blessing. I have begun, once again, to do this with the kids as I tuck them in. I am not as formal as it presents here. I just make the sign of the cross on their forehead and say, “God bless you in the name of the Father, etc.” as they are laying in bed. I want to begin using holy water or blessed olive oil (both of which I have on hand). How much more effectual the blessing will become! 🙂
I thought I would refresh some of your memories or just give a little nudge to those who don’t use this custom, and remind those who do it of how beautiful it is!
THE PARENTAL BLESSING
The parental blessing is as old as humanity. Priests have the authority to bless the faithful: thus, too, parents have the right to bless their children.
Every time, you raise your hands in benediction over your children, you draw down upon them the blessing of God for the good of their bodies and souls. The early Christians, daily, blessed their children with the Sign of the Cross.
Your happiness and joy does not consist in wealth, but in having good children.
The Sign of the Cross which you make upon your children’s forehead will never be effaced. The blessing will never be lost. No passion will be able to obliterate it completely.
The parental blessing effects another great good: it is a sacred bond which unites the father and mother in everlasting fidelity, in perfect love and harmony.
The Sign of the Cross, daily, reminds them of the solemn obligation taken before the Altar to remain faithful even unto death.
Have your children kneel before you; place your right hand on the head of each as you repeat:
GOD BLESS YOU MY CHILD!
Then, you may take holy water and with the right hand, make the Sign of the Cross upon the forehead and lips and breast of the child saying:
“IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE
The child may answer: “GOD REWARD YOU.”
You may send your blessing to those away from home. The parental blessing may extend over hill and vale, and will rest on the children wherever they may be. Post your blessings in a letter:
“Your father blesses you.”
The blessing may be given in the evening after
night prayers. It may be given oftener; when the child leaves the house for school or on a journey.
It should be given solemnly on the first day of First Holy Communion, on the
wedding day, on a child’s entrance into Religion or to a son about to ascend the Altar for the first time.
Finally, dear parents, bless your children when lying on your deathbed.
You may not be able to bequeath any great possessions to your children, but one thing you can give them: heritage of your blessing.
It is better to be blessed than to be rich!
Fathers! Mothers! Bless your children daily, most especially in these present times when the dangers surrounding the youth threaten their innocence and their Eternal Salvation!