The following is an excerpt from an article titled, Bless Your Children, written by Archabbot Ignatius on March 23, 2007. This dear Archabbot encourages parents to use a little known custom that can go a long way toward developing a deeper awareness of God’s love and its connection with family living.
Good fathers and mothers endure labors, fatigue, and pain to give their children natural gifts, life and life’s necessities.Generously add to these bestowals the crowning gift – your blessing. It will help to sanctify all the rest. St. Ambrose says: “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.” May God doubly bless the parents who bless their children.
How is the parental blessing given? It should be done in a simple but reverent manner. Place your hand on the head of the kneeling child and say: “I bless you my child, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” While saying this, make the sign of the Cross upon his forehead with the thumb of your right hand. If you bless all your children at once, simply extend your hand over them all, and trace a Cross over them, while you pronounce the words. Actually, the form of the blessing is not important. Any appropriate words of your own choosing may be used. Vary them to suit the occasion. Simply let the words of blessing indicate what you wish for your children. The children may be in any position for the blessing, though kneeling is naturally more significant. The Blessing need not be solemn, but it should be serious.
+ May parents bless their children and may their families grow in God’s grace! And, truly, may God doubly bless the parents who bless their children! We humbly ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ. + Amen.