3. BLESSING OF A WOMAN AFTER CHILDBIRTH

in a case where the child was stillborn

or died after birth

{The “Collectio Rituum,” both of Germany and the U. S., give the following blessing of a mother whose child was stillborn or died after birth.}

The priest meets the woman at the threshold of the church, sprinkles her with holy water, and says:

God’s peace be with you. Come into God’s house. Adore the Son of the blessed Virgin Mary, and ask God to console and comfort you.

Then he leads her and those who accompany her to the altar. They kneel before the altar; whereas the priest goes up to the altar predella, turns to them, and says the following:

Psalm 120

P: I lift up my eyes toward the mountains; * whence shall help come to me?

All: My help is from the Lord, * who made heaven and earth.

P: May He not suffer your foot to slip; * may He who guards you not slumber;

All: Indeed He neither slumbers nor sleeps, * the guardian of Israel.

P: The Lord is your guardian; * the Lord is your shade; He is beside you at your right hand.

All: The sun shall not harm you by day, * nor the moon by night.

P: The Lord will guard you from all evil; * He will guard your life.

All: The Lord will guard your coming and your going, * both now and forever.

P: Glory be to the Father.

All: As it was in the beginning.

After the psalm the priest continues:

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Our Father (the rest inaudibly until:)

P: And lead us not into temptation.

All: But deliver us from evil.

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.

Almighty everlasting God, lover of holy purity, who chose in your wisdom and goodness to call this woman’s child to your heavenly kingdom; be pleased also, O Lord, to show your mercy to this servant of yours, comforting her with your love, helping her to accept bravely your holy will. Thus comforted by the merits of your sacred passion, and aided by the intercession of blessed Mary, ever a Virgin, and of all the saints, may she be united at last with her child for all eternity in the kingdom of heaven. We ask this of you who live and reign forever and ever.

All: Amen.

As he sprinkles her with holy water in the form of a cross, the priest concludes:

May the peace and blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit, come upon you and remain with you forever.

All: Amen.