At the appointed time the children assemble in church under the tutelage of parents or teachers to ensure quiet and order. When they are properly placed, boys and girls separate, the priest approaches and speaks to them very briefly and simply on a suitable topic. Then standing and facing them he says:
P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who made heaven and earth.
After this the following antiphon and psalm are sung (for the music see the music supplement):
Antiphon: Praise, you children of the Lord, * praise the name of the Lord.
(for this psalm see Rite for Burial of Children)
At the end of the psalm the antiphon is repeated. This psalm and its antiphon may be omitted if the blessing is imparted less solemnly or only to a few. Next the priest says:
P: Let the little children come to me.
All: The kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
P: Their angels.
All: Ever see the face of the heavenly Father.
P: Let the enemy have no power over them.
All: And the son of iniquity be powerless to harm them.
P: Lord, heed my prayer.
All: And let my cry be heard by you.
P: The Lord be with you.
All: May He also be with you.
Let us pray.
Lord Jesus Christ, who embraced the little children when they came or were brought to you, and laying your hands on them blessed them and said: “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them. The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these; and their angels ever see the face of my Father;” we beg you to look with favor on the innocence of these children here present and on the devotion of their parents, and to bless them today through our ministry. Let them ever advance in your grace and goodness, the better to know you, love you, fear you, and serve you, and happily reach their blessed destiny. We ask this of you, Savior of the world, who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.
Let us pray.
We beg you, Lord, through the intercession of the blessed Mary, ever a Virgin, to defend this family of yours from every kind of adversity; and as they offer their hearts to you, protect them in your kindness and mercy from all wiles of the enemy; through Christ our Lord.
Let us pray.
God, who by your wondrous providence gave us your holy angels as our guardians, grant that we, your suppliants, may ever be shielded by their protection, and finally enjoy their fellowship in heaven; through Christ our Lord.
Making the sign of the cross over them, he blesses them, saying:
May God bless you, and may He be the guardian of your hearts and your understanding, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
He then sprinkles the children with holy water.