When my son was baptized, I did not know whether I was allowed to participate in the blessing of him (the sign of the cross on his head), and in my hesitation the ceremony continued and I was unable to do so. (I am not Catholic, and was not tutored in what to expect at the baptism). A child in our family is going to be baptized soon. Would there be an appropriate time for me to bless my son at this ceremony? Not actually during the other child’s ceremony, of course, but perhaps before or afterwards? Or would this be considered inappropriate?
Why wait until a formal ceremony. Bless your child every day. Incorporate into your daily living, prayers before and after meals, prayers at the beginning and end of the day. Prayer can be said everytime you start out on a journey when you get into the car…even if it’s just to the store.
There is never any occasion when you cannot bless your child…you don’t need to wait for someone even clergy to initiate it…you can do it yourself.
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Thank you. The reason I am asking the question is that I missed out on this ceremonial blessing, and would like to perform this ritual in a baptismal/church setting. Maybe I’m just trying to regain something I feel I lost, which is perhaps not the best reason.
There is a a ceremony “Order for the Blessing of Sons and Daughters”. It is in the Book of Blessings, Liturgical Press, Minnesota, 1989, ISBN 0-8146-1875-8, chapter V, page 52.
The instructions about this blessing have
"175. When a priest or deacon is present, the ministry of blessing more fittingly belongs to him. This is particularly the case on the occasion of the regular parish visitations that are scheduled for the blessing of families."
“176. The present order may be used by the parents or by a priest or deacon. While maintaining the structure and chief elements of the rite, the minister should adapt the celebration to the circumstances of the place and the people involved.”
The ceremony begins with the Sign of the Cross, readings and intercessions. Then there is the Prayer of Blessing:
“190 As circumstances suggest, the parents may trace the sign of the cross on their children’s forehead, they then say the prayer of blessing.
Father, inexhaustible source of life and author of all good …”
Then it has:
"[191 [COLOR=“red”]A minister who is not a parent of the children says the following prayer of blessing.
Lord Jesus Christ, … ".
Normally, I think, there would be one prayer of blessing. Either by the parents or by a “minister who is not a parent”. But I am not sure. Given the circumstances in this case I suggest approaching the priest and suggesting an adaptation so that there are two prayers of blessing, by the parents and the priest.
You can bless you son every night before bed and every morning. I’m sorry, can’t believe that you were not informed of exactly how the Baptism was going to take place and what your role as the childs mother was. There is no excuse for poor Sacramental preparation.
Darling there is never a time when you cannot bless your child. In church, at home, at play, but if you would feel it special, after the other child’s baptism, you dip your finger in the blessed water and bless your child.
I blessed my children everynight before sleep till they were 21,(they are much older now) and now I have a photo of them by my bedside,and continue blessing them by placing my hand over it and blessing them with these words "May the Lord bless and keep you, May the Light of His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May He uncover His face and bring you peace, in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
Please dont be anxious that you didnt externally bless the child on the day of Baptism, you have blessed the child every moment of its life, and continue to do so
.And for you now.
May the Lord Bless and keep you
May the Light of His face Shine upon you and be gracious to you
And may He uncover His face and bring you peace
In th Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.Amen.
Have a lovely day (Its morning in Australia).
Grace Angel :angel1:
any Christians present are invited to trace the sign of the cross on the infant (unless there are just too many people present, in our family that would take all morning) but certainly anyone may do so for the child after the ceremony.
parents and godparents should have participated in some type of pre-baptismal class where the rite was explained, it this was not offered in your parish, that is not your fault. Often the priest or deacon presiding gives a short explanation to those present of what is going to happen, or a pamphlet of some kind is given to guests.
If the baptism happens during a Sunday Mass, there may not be time for it, however.
Not according to the liturgical book for the Baptism of children:
“79. The celebrant continues:
N., the Christian community welcomes you with great joy. In its name I claim you for Christ our Savior by the sign of the cross. I now trace the cross on your forehead, and invite your parents (and godparents) to do the same.
He signs the child on the forehead, in silence. Then he invites the parents and (if it seems appropriate) the godparents to do the same.”
(The Rites Volume One, Liturgical Press, 1990, ISBN: 0-8146-6015-0, page 395. Baptism for Children, Chapter II Rite of Baptism for One Child).
I would feel bad if anyone else were to be blamed for my lack of preparation. I accepted being told that the ceremony was simple. I should have investigated further, so it is more my fault than anyone elses. I think much of it was simply miscommunication. Those involved were well meaning. I imagine it is difficult for someone who was raised in the Catholic church to realize just how new and complex everything is to someone who had never attended a Catholic church before. My husband thought I was going along with the baptism to please him and his family, and did not realize how deeply important it was to me. Because he is Catholic, and attended a Catholic church all of his life, he couldn’t have known how little I knew. My first husband and his family do not believe in infant baptism, nor the organized church, and so it had been many, many years since I had attended any type of ceremony in a church (I was raised as a Methodist).
Thank you, your response is very sweet, and yes, I have to remember that it is blessing him every day that is important. I do think I will bless my son after the other baptism has taken place.
The verse you quoted (Numbers 6; 24-27) has long been a favorite of mine. I made a plaque with it, and it hangs in the doorway of my sons’ room. I use it for blessing him at bedtime. It gives me peace just to read it or hear it.
also, mom, bear in mind that everything you do for your child, bathing, changing, feeding, teaching, even disciplining is an act of blessing through the authority conferred upon you by God when you became a parent.
in answer to a previous reply we have a large family, and I attend several baptisms a year, not to mention those at our own parish, and invariably, unless there is a big crowd, first the parents and godparents, then any other family members who wish to, are invited to trace the cross on the baby’s forehead. sisters and brothers are especially enthusiastic about this.
i am still a bit irked at what seems to have been thoughlessness on the part of celebrant in incident of OP, who should have been especially solicitous of the feelings of the non-Catholic parent, and should have made sure the mother was called to participate in the blessing. please forgive, as your generous response shows you have already done, if someone was thoughtless.