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Catholic Prayer: Blessing of Children on Holy Innocents

Description:

The feast of the Holy Innocents is a good time to teach the children about their special patrons. There is also a traditional children's blessing for the feast of the Holy Innocents that can be performed by the parents in the absence of a priest's blessing at church.

Prayer:

The father leads everyone present in the Our Father. Then he says the versicle, "O Lord, hear my prayer," and all respond, "And let my cry come unto You." The father proceeds with this prayer, taken from the blessing for children:

Let us pray. O Lord Jesus Christ, once You embraced and placed Your hands upon the little children who came to You, and said: "Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, and their angels always see the face of my Father!" Look now with fatherly eyes on the innocence of these children and their parents' devotion, and bless them this day through our ministry. (The father signs the forehead of each child with the sign of the cross.) In Your grace and goodness let them advance continually, longing for You, loving You, fearing You, keeping Your commandments. Then they will surely come to their destined home, through You, Savior of the world. Who lives and reigns forever and ever.
All answer, "Amen."

Then the father says to the children: "May God bless you. And may He keep your hearts and minds — the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit."

All answer, "Amen."

The father then sprinkles the children with holy water. (The Church's official blessing of children is included in the Roman Ritual.)

Prayer Source: Twelve Days of Christmas, The by Elsa Chaney, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 1955
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