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Full Version: Parents should...bless their children [with] a Cross on the child's forehead...
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I was confused about something I read on Fisheaters, under the chapter "Domestic Church," namely:

[size=10pt][size=10pt][size=10pt][size=10pt]http://www.fisheaters.com/domesticchurch.html
Parents should also bless their children, at the least on the Lord's Day. The traditional way of doing this is for the children to kneel and for the parent to either place his hands on the child's head and/or trace a Cross on the child's forehead while saying:

May Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, bless you, my child(ren), for time and eternity, and may this blessing remain forever with you. Amen
St. Ambrose wrote of this practice:

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.
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Is this just an act of paternal affection, or are supernatural graces being imparted by way of this blessing?  Is there more to this that I am not understanding? 
There are grace imparted, much like if you were to pray for someone. In fact that is what you are doing. You express your wish that the child be blessed.

It does not, however have the same efficacy as the blessing of a priest, which proceeds from Our Lord.

Think of it like using holy water: pious use imparts blessings. The same is true of the sign of the cross. 
I thought as much -- thank you, by the way -- but what continues to be unclear is if the expression of this parental blessing is the equivalent of prayer, then how is this the patrimonial birthright of a father or mother?  After all, a brother or an aunt could do as much, no? 
MagisterMusicae wrote eloquently on this topic several months ago (I'm not going to look it up), but what the parent is really doing is asking God to bless the children.
But isn't it also true that the father, as the priest of the family, has authority to give a blessing to his child, more so than a sibling or other relative would?
One who has authority over another has the authority to give a non-Apostolic blessing.  Even an abbess can give a blessing to her charges.  The father can bless his wife and the children and the grandchildren.  A wife cannot bless a husband because she doesn't have authority over him in the natural order.

This type of blessing has an authoritative but non-apostolic basis which is what makes it different than going up to John Q. Public and saying "May God bless you".  Unfortunately, a curse has the same binding, and it is a great evil to curse one's children, but it can happen.
(01-06-2010, 09:30 PM)WhollyRoaminCatholic Wrote: [ -> ]MagisterMusicae wrote eloquently on this topic several months ago (I'm not going to look it up), but what the parent is really doing is asking God to bless the children.

I'll look it up, but can you recall the subject heading at least? 
(01-06-2010, 09:32 PM)Satori Wrote: [ -> ]But isn't it also true that the father, as the priest of the family, has authority to give a blessing to his child, more so than a sibling or other relative would?

As I understand it, it is rooted in authority.  One who has authority over another has a say in the dispensation of that person and can give his blessing or curse to them.  So parent over child, husband over wife, etc.
(01-06-2010, 09:45 PM)QuisUtDeus Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-06-2010, 09:32 PM)Satori Wrote: [ -> ]But isn't it also true that the father, as the priest of the family, has authority to give a blessing to his child, more so than a sibling or other relative would?

As I understand it, it is rooted in authority.  One who has authority over another has a say in the dispensation of that person and can give his blessing or curse to them.  So parent over child, husband over wife, etc.

The Fisheaters article details the blessing of a child by his or her parent, but what would the form take for a husband blessing his wife? 
(01-06-2010, 09:39 PM)Miquelot Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-06-2010, 09:30 PM)WhollyRoaminCatholic Wrote: [ -> ]MagisterMusicae wrote eloquently on this topic several months ago (I'm not going to look it up), but what the parent is really doing is asking God to bless the children.

I'll look it up, but can you recall the subject heading at least? 

I had to think about it for a while, but found it here:
http://catholicforum.fisheaters.com/inde...448.0.html
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