Wednesday, November 14, 2012
The Churching of Women (After Childbirth)
A rite of blessing and thanksgiving in memory of the compliance of the Holy Virgin Mary with the Jewish Law of Purification after childbirth.
Many thanks to family and friends for being present. Thanks, Andy! As well as to the celebrant, Padre Paolo. My dad remarked: "Grandma used to have this done at the Assumption after her babies were born."
The celebrant needs only the ritual, stole, and holy water. We provided the beeswax candle with ribbon. I encourage young Catholic mothers to ask for this blessing in church after childbirth. If the priest says no, then find one who will. It is a fitting little tradition.
We were received at the entrance to church. Psalm 23 was prayed. Then the priest introduced the mother into the church, giving the end of his stole into her hand and saying: "Enter into the temple of God, adore the Son of the blessed Virgin Mary, who giveth thee fruitfulness of offspring." We then processed to the altar where mother knelt for the invocation, prayer, and blessing: "Almighty, everlasting God, who, through the delivery of the Blessed Virgin Mary, hast turned into joy the pains of the faithful in childbirth: look mercifully upon this Thine handmaid, coming in gladness to Thy holy temple to offer up her thanks: and grant that after this life, by the merits and intercession of the same Blessed Mary, she may deserve, together with her offspring, to attain to the joys of everlasting happiness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen."
Read about this hallowed and forgotten rite here: http://www.fisheaters.com/churchingofwomen.html.
at 11:31 AM