How to Bless Your Children

October 23, 2013

Father-and-sons-001“You may not be rich; you may be unable to bequeath any great possessions to your children; but one thing you can give them; the heritage of your blessing. And it is better to be blessed than to be rich.” St. Ambrose

Hey Dad, did you know you are priest of your home? That’s right, Our Lord ordained us men as heads of the Domestic Church, which is a miniature of the Universal Church. This joyful responsibility means you are prophet, priest, and king of your family. (For a great book on this topic, click here.)

One way you can embrace your role as priest of your family is by blessing your children. This can be done each night before bed, once a week on Sunday, or whenever you want. To bless your child, trace the sign of the cross on his or her forehead (I dip my thumb in holy water first, but this isn’t necessary) and say the following:

“May almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you my child for time and eternity, and may this blessing remain forever with you.”

That’s it! It’s very simple, and if you do it frequently, your children will come to love and expect this simple ritual. My little boy looks forward to his nightly blessing, and he gives me a happy grin as I pray it.

Did your parents bless you? Do you bless your children?

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Sam Guzman

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  1. AvatarSarah says

    My mom always blessed us with a cross on the forehead. “May God bless you, and keep you safe and happy, until I see you again. Amen.” She did it any time we left the house and at bedtime. She blessed all our friends who came over too, mostly protestants. They would eventually ask for blessings from her when they came over.

    • AvatarRFriend says

      Dear Separated Brother-in-Christ,

      I’d like to get together with you off this site some time and hear your story. I’ll also share mine with you. I used to be a Protestant like yourself, and three years ago I found the fulfillment of everything good my Protestant background taught me. The fullness of the Scriptures, the fullness of charity and truth, and the fullness of a relationship with Christ that only the Church can provide. Still, I want to hear why you’re not Catholic, what you disagree on, and give you a fair shot. Let’s share Christ with each other and try to save each other’s souls. If you’re interested let me know, I’ll give you my contact information.

      Pax Christi

    • praecentor says

      Marc, what wording do you use? I’ve been alternating between 2 not being entirely happy about either.

      Benedictio Dei omnipotenti Patris & Filii & Spiritus Sancti descendat super te et maneat semper. Amen.

      and

      Benedicat & custodiat te omnipotens & misericors Dominus, Pater & Filius & Spiritus Sanctus. Amen.

      I actually like the form given in the article but I haven’t been able to find a nice Latin version of it anywhere and English is not the language spoken at our home, it would be quite weird to use it for the blessing…

  2. AvatarLarry says

    I blessed my four children every night with the blessing which God gave to Moses:

    May the Lord bless you and keep you
    May the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you
    May the Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace.

    A father’s hand on a child’s head while blessing is also good.

  3. AvatarWilliam M. Grothus says

    God bless all here. I am going to present this blessing to my parish church hopefully on Father’s Day and used lots of information from this beautiful site for a handout and demonstration. This site is a great example of use of the internet for the Honor and Glory of God.

    • AvatarJohn Peter says

      Yes you can. I didn’t know you could, but a sermon on Audio Sancto or Sensus Traditionis told me you can, since she is under your authority.

  4. AvatarLibrada says

    As a mother and no husband, may I also bless my children and grandchildren with this prayers you all provided?

  5. AvatarJoe says

    Is it OK for a father (within his family) to make the sign of the cross in the air, or is this taking the idea of the father as priest of his family too far?

    • AvatarA. Nonymous says

      The proper way of blessing for one who is not ordained is to trace the sign of the cross on the forehead. Any of the baptized may do this.

  6. AvatarMaureen says

    I use “May the Lord bless you and keep you…” and end “In the name of the Father…” every night for my daughter. When I was growing up, my father used “May the blessing of the Almighty God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, descend upon you and remain with you, forever and ever. Amen” and my mother used “May the Father bless you, the Son protect you, and the Holy Spirit guide you. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.”

  7. AvatarMaja says

    If you ask me (a simple nobody) any baptized person has the “authority” to bless another in the name of Christ the Lord. Mother to child, husband to wife, wife to husband… We all equally share in the priesthood of Christ by virtue of our baptism. In blessing ones children, the parent is handing the children to God and I think it would also give the children a sense that, ultimately, they belong to Him. A beautiful practice. Thanks for the reminder.

  8. AvatarAdrian says

    Wonderful. I like to use, May Almighty God bless you cause His face to shine upon you and keep you in His peace. May the Blessed Virgin Mary intercede for you and protect you always, with your guardian angel and all the angels and Saints. Amen

  9. AvatarDAVID LEWIS says

    Numbers 6:24-26
    The Priestly Blessing
    22 The Lord said to Moses,
    23 “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:
    24 “‘“The Lord bless you and keep you;
    25 the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
    26 the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’

  10. Avatarthomasjmcintyre says

    My Dad blessed me and I bless my daughter. I try to do it every night, with holy water. I’ll have to remember the words for the blessing. (I usually just say, “God bless and protect you.”)

  11. AvatarMike d says

    Love the beautiful versions of blessings shared by others here. I use “May the Trinity bless you, protect you, and guide you. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” I use holy water that I keep in their room. I like to carry on the tradition as my father used to bless me and my siblings with holy water too.

  12. AvatarA. Nonymous says

    “May almighty God bless you and keep you. May He guide you and may you continue to grow in faith, today and all the days of your life.”

    I’m a permanent Deacon, but my liturgy professor always reminded us that we are first and foremost parents to our children, and that to give our children a father’s blessing is more fitting than to give them a Deacon’s blessing.

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