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How to host a baby blessing for a pregnant mother

pregnant, baby, mother

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Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 01/01/23

This baby blessing has been a great source of joy for us, and I hope you will love it as much as my friends and I do!

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A few years ago, my friends and I started a tradition of doing “baby blessings” for each other instead of baby showers. 

We all had had at least one child by that point, so we weren’t in need of the typical baby shower items and gear. But we wanted to do something special to celebrate the pregnant mother and her new baby. Every baby deserves a party!

I found the idea to do a baby blessing gathering on a blog post by Katrina Harrington (unfortunately, it looks like the original post is no longer available). So I brought the idea to a friend who was expecting her third child, and she absolutely loved it. 

We held a baby blessing for her, and it was such a success that we’ve held them for a number of friends since then. It is such a beautiful and meaningful way to welcome a new baby!

All you need to do in advance is provide a votive candle and a copy of the baby blessing for each guest. During the blessing, each guest holds a lighted candle. 

These candles are lit again when the mother goes into labor, as a reminder for her friends to pray for her and as a physical sign of their vigil in prayer with her throughout her labor and birth.

We often do these events as a potluck, with guests bringing food and drinks. But you could include the blessing as part of a typical baby shower, or in any other kind of gathering or party you like.

I’ve included below the baby blessing prayer that we use. (I found a very similar one here from Catholic Culture.) This one is adapted from Catholic Prayer: Book of Blessings: Blessing of a Mother Before Childbirth.

I hope you love this baby blessing as much as we do! It has been such a source of joy to my friends and me. 

Blessing of [Mother’s Name] and [Baby’s Name] before Childbirth

ORDER FOR THE BLESSING OF A MOTHER BEFORE CHILDBIRTH

INTRODUCTORY RITES

Lay minister says: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

All make the sign of the cross and reply: Amen.

A lay minister greets those present in the following words. 

Brother and sisters, let us bless the Lord Jesus, who in the womb of the Virgin Mary became one of us. Blessed be God now and forever.

R. Blessed be God now and forever.

Lay minister: God, the Lord of life, by his will brings every human being into existence and he rules and sustains the life of every one of us. Our faith tells us of God’s particular care over those born of a Christian marriage, since through the sacrament of baptism they will receive the gift of sharing in the divine life itself. The reason for the blessing of a mother-to-be is that she may await her hour of delivery in faith and hope and, as the partner of God’s own love, may already cherish with her maternal love the child in her womb.

LIGHTING OF THE CANDLES

Lay minister: We light these candles as prayer and as a visual expression of our communion as we pray for [Mother’s Name] and [Baby’s Name] and all of the [Name]  family. May the Holy Spirit bring [Mother’s Name] love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control as she grows as a wife and as a mother of three. May [Mother’s Name] see the flames of our prayer as she goes through labor before meeting her daughter. 

READING OF THE WORD OF GOD

A reader reads a text of sacred Scripture. Brother and sisters, listen to the words of the holy gospel according to Luke:

1:39-45 The baby leapt in my womb for joy. During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

PSALM

Another reader present leads the psalm:

R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Psalm 33 Happy the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he has chosen for his own inheritance. But see, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness. 

R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Our soul waits for the LORD, who is our help and our shield, For in him our hearts rejoice; in his holy name we trust. 

R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us who have put our hope in you. 

R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

INTERCESSIONS

The minister says: Christ the Lord, the blessed fruit of Mary’s womb, by the mystery of his incarnation filled the world with his grace and goodness. Let us therefore raise our voices to praise him.

R. Blessed are you, O Lord, for your loving kindness.

Assisting minister: You were born of a woman, so that we might become God’s adopted children. (Let us bless the Lord:) R. Blessed are you, O Lord, for your loving kindness.

Assisting minister: You took life from Mary and willed that the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you would be called blessed. (Let us bless the Lord:) R. Blessed are you, O Lord, for your loving kindness.

Assisting minister: Through the Virgin Mary, blessed among women, you have honored the female sex. (Let us bless the Lord:) R. Blessed are you, O Lord, for your loving kindness.

Assisting minister: As you hung on the cross you made Mary, your own Mother, the Mother of the Church. (Let us bless the Lord:) R. Blessed are you, O Lord, for your loving kindness.

Assisting minister: Through the ministry of mothers you increase the joy and exultation of the Church by enriching it with new children. (Let us bless the Lord:) R. Blessed are you, O Lord, for your loving kindness.

All take turns sharing their prepared intentions written on their slips of paper for [Mother’s Name]. 

PRAYER OF BLESSING

Lord God, Creator of the human race, your Son, through the working of the Holy Spirit, was born of a woman, so that he might pay the age-old debt of sin and save us by his redemption. Receive with kindness the prayer of your servant, [Mother’s Name], as she asks for the birth of a healthy child. Grant that [Mother’s Name] may safely deliver a daughter to be numbered among your family, to serve you in all things, and to gain eternal life.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.                       R. Amen

PRAYER FOR THE PROTECTION OF MARY AND THE SAINTS 

Mary, mother of Christ, 

R. pray for us.

St. Elizabeth, pray for us.

St. Gianna Molla, pray for us.

St. Zelie Martin, pray for us.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us.

St. Judith, pray for us.

St. Monica, pray for us.

St. Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us.

St. Joseph, pray for us.

St. Padre Pio, pray for us. 

St. Gerard, pray for us. 

[Other saints special to the family may be included here.]

CONCLUDING RITE

A lay minister invokes God’s blessing on the mother and all present by signing himself or herself with the sign of the cross and saying: May God, who chose to make known and to send the blessings of eternal salvation through the motherhood of Mary, bless us and keep us in his care, now and forever. 

R. Amen.

All blow the candles out and are invited to light the candles again when [Mother’s Name] goes into labor to meet [Baby’s Name].

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PrayersPregnancy
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