Blessing for Babies in the Womb

Here’s a neat piece of news from the U.S. bishops’ fall meeting: They have approved a blessing service for children in the womb. Catholic News Service reports:

To fill a gap in existing prayer books, the U.S. bishops Nov. 11 overwhelmingly approved a liturgical service in English and Spanish for blessing children in the womb.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., praised the new blessing as “a tangible way to witness pastorally and sacramentally to the life of the unborn child” and said it could also serve as an opportunity for parishes to bring together expectant couples for mutual support. . . .

Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of Paterson, N.J., chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship . . . said the blessing, which had been approved both by his committee and by the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, “was prepared to support the parents awaiting the birth of their child, to encourage in the parish prayers for and recognition of the precious gift of the child in the womb, and to foster respect for human life within society.”

The blessing can be used in the context of a Mass or outside a Mass, and for an individual mother, a couple or a group of expectant parents.

The blessing needs the approval of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments before it can be used.

What a great pro-life witness and reminder this could be in our parishes. Let’s hope and pray that the blessing receives approval quickly.

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