CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 23 September 2017

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Blessing of a child in the womb ready for use

WASHINGTON (SE): The Rite for the Blessing of a Child in the Womb was formally released for use in dioceses around the United States of America on May 8.
 
The text of the blessing has been published in English and Spanish and is posted online. It will also be published in print form in the Book of Blessings and included in future liturgical books.
 
“We hope the use of this blessing will provide not only support and God’s blessing for expectant parents and their child in the womb, but also be another effective witness to the sanctity of human life from the first moment of conception,” Archbishop Gregory Aymond, from New Orleans, the chairperson of the Committee on Divine Worship said.
 
The introduction to the blessing ceremony published on the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops says that the blessing can also be offered to expectant mothers within the context of the Mass. It originated at the request of Bishop Joseph Kurtz and the Committee on Pro-Life Activities prepared and submitted a text to the Divine Worship Committee in March of 2008.
 
It was approved by the bishops’ conference in November 2008 and then sent to Rome for editing and final approval.
 
Although blessing of expectant mothers is a well established pastoral practice in most places, the official text, which has Vatican approval, makes it available for use in formal liturgies of the Church.
 
The text in part reads, “God, author of all life, bless, we pray, this unborn child; give constant protection and grant a healthy birth that is the sign of our rebirth one day into the eternal rejoicing of heaven...”

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