SONG OF THE CHILD
A Blessing Ceremony for the Expectant Mother and Child
"In the beginning, all creatures were hidden treasures longing to be known, and brought into being. God then exhaled a sigh of compassion, and with that great sigh, the world was created."
SACRED TEXT READINGS
"Homage to you, Breath of Life, in our birth and in our death. In the whole cycle of life you sustain and inspire us."
The Atharva-Veda, c.1500
"The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life."
"I am the Mother of the Voice, speaking in many ways, completing the All. It is in me that knowledge dwells, the knowledge of things everlasting. It is I who speak within every creature."
Words spoken by the female Logos in Gnostic literature
"n East Africa there is a tribe with a very unique ritual surrounding conception and birth. In preparation for conceiving a child, a woman leaves her community and sits alone beneath a tree, where she remains in prayer and meditation until she has received her child's 'song.' This song is later taught to her husband before conception and sung to her child throughout pregnancy.
"Each child's song is unique and will be sung by the midwives who welcome each child at birth. But perhaps most powerfully, every child's song will be learned by members of the child's village and will accompany them throughout their lives. It will be sung to soothe them when injured and to celebrate many joyous rites of passage. It will resound at marriage ceremonies. And at the end of life, villagers will gather, as they did at birth, to sing them from this world.
"Just as the East African woman is open to receiving words for her child's song, this ritual offers an opportunity for the expectant mother to begin to hear her own child's song. In this ceremony the mother will receive written blessings to take with her. She could later use these words as inspiration for her child's song, which may take the form of a poem, letter, story, prayer, or actual lyrics."
"SONG OF THE CHILD" BLESSING
"While listening to a piece of instrumental music, invite participants to write down a blessing or wish for the unborn child. Let them know that they will be completing the Mother's Prayer, which ends with this line: 'May his/her song be of . . ' They can write whatever they hope will fill this child's life: good friends, family, adventures.
"With participants seated in a circle, pass around a long ribbon, piece of leather, or string until each guest holds a section. This act symbolically links each person with the expectant mother and with one another.*
"The expectant mother then reads the 'Mother's Prayer.' The mother may wish to insert her own blessing before others read what they have written. It is particularly meaningful to include a reference to ancestors who, even in their absence, will influence who this child will become. For example, the mother might say, 'May her [his] song be of [insert names], strong ancestors who left their home in [insert country] to travel to a foreign land.' "
Idea adapted from Welcoming the Soul of a Child by Jill E: Hopkins
To be spoken by the expectant mother
In these final days of waiting for my child,
I turn to you for wisdom in motherhood.
You cradle her before she is even born,
sing to her in the rush of my blood,
and you will hold her when her days are done.
"Teach me the words to my daughter's lullaby.
May her song always serve to remind her
of who she is and from where she's come.
"Now I close with this blessing;
May her song be of [insert family names]."
Lynn L. Caruso
"When the mother has completed her prayer, other participants read their wish/blessing. As each one concludes, she cuts her length of string and ties it into a bracelet to wear until the baby's birth. Encourage each guest to hold the mother and child in her thoughts and prayers whenever she sees the bracelet. The circle of the bracelet is symbolic of the circle of community gathered for this occasion."
You have given mothers to the world and
blessed the fruit of their womb . . Hear, 0
Lord, our prayer and bless the mother of this
home. Grant her strength to fulfill her calling.
May she be filled with joy and laughter.
May she experience peace of mind and heart,
and may her children rise up to bless her . . .
Robert E. Webber, Mother's Day Blessing
"Leader: I add my breath to your breath
"All: That our days may be long on the Earth. . . .
That we may finish our roads together
"Leader: May our Mother bless you with life
"All: May our Life Paths be fulfilled."
Song of the Pueblo people
Honoring Motherhood Prayers, Ceremonies & Blessings
A Book Excerpt on Gratitude
SONG OF THE CHILD