‘Rite for the Blessing of a Child in the Womb’ approved by Rome

News release from USCCB

WASHINGTON (March 26, 2012) — The Vatican has approved the publication of the “Rite for the Blessing of a Child in the Womb,” which will be printed in English and Spanish in a combined booklet and should be available for parishes by Mothers’ Day.

The U.S. bishops who collaborated on the development of the blessing welcomed the announcement of the recognitio, or approval, by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in Rome. 

“I’m impressed with the beauty of this blessing for human life in the womb,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). “I can think of no better day to announce this news than on the feast of the Annunciation, when we remember Mary’s ‘yes’ to God and the incarnation of that child in her the womb that saved the world.”

“We wanted to make this announcement as soon as possible so that parishes might begin to look at how this blessing might be woven into the fabric of parish life,” said Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship. “Eventually the new blessing will be included in the Book of Blessings when that text is revised.”

The blessing was prepared to support parents awaiting the birth of their child, to encourage parish prayers for and recognition of the precious gift of the child in the womb, and to foster respect for human life within society. It can be offered within the context of the Mass as well as outside of Mass.

The blessing originated when then-Bishop Joseph Kurtz of Knoxville, Tennessee (now archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky) asked the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities to see if a blessing existed for a child in the womb. When none was found, the committee prepared a text and submitted it to the USCCB’s Divine Worship committee in March of 2008. It was approved by the full body of bishops in November 2008, and then sent to Rome for editing and final approval.


Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 5:50 AM By Chuck
Thank God in Heaven for this wonderful blessing! It is about time we give honor to God for His grace of new life. Thank Archbishop Kurtz and the USCCB for giving us this wonderful blessing!

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 6:34 AM By Donetta Robben
Where is the prayer?

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 7:04 AM By margaret
I love it but this does not replace baptism. When I first started to read it I was thinking you had found a way to baptize unborn babies in danger of aborting.

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 7:09 AM By maryforlife
This blessing is welcomed and needed. Jesus is pleased. God Bless all moms. How about a blessing prayer for grandmothers? Mary

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 7:22 AM By MacDonald
What a beautiful blessing to have made official! However, I’ve seen our parish priests in San Francisco OFTEN blessing pregnant women after Mass on the plaza, so I didn’t know there wasn’t already a rite for this lovely occasion.

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 7:34 AM By Donna
I think this is wonderful. The Bible says no one can go to Heaven if not baptized. Where do these little babies go? Certainly not hell….they deserve heaven as a white martyr.

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 7:58 AM By Fredi D’Alessio
A wonderful complement for Gabriel Project parishes offering help to pregnant mothers in need – sfgabrielproject.wordpress.com

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 8:26 AM By Fr. Leo Fisher, CFR
This is great news!!! I pray that all children in the womb receive this blessing.

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 8:40 AM By Gina
This is wonderful! Thank you so much for this. Will be passing it along!!!

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 8:43 AM By OneoftheSheep
How utterly beautiful, holy, and good this rite will be for our unborn brothers and sisters. It will be a sign of contradiction to those who seek to harm life in the womb. It will be a sign of encouragement and a welcome to the little ones who soon will join us openly in the Body of Christ.

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 8:50 AM By JMJ
Amazing: we have blessings for animals, sneezes, families, food, etc. but none for the unborn babies! How can this be? +JMJ+

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 8:52 AM By frances
Can this blessing be done silently outside an abortion clinic by a lay person for the baby that will likely be destroyed?

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 9:02 AM By Seamus
Your day will come and you will be asked what did YOU do to save my children – did you Bless My Creation My Child in the womb or were you active by your indifference, Your Action, Your Blind obedience to that Sin ‘Freedom of Choice’ Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward Psalm 127:3-5 Hallelujah! May it become as common as blessing oneself with Holy Water – Great News

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 9:14 AM By FrM
In fact, there is a blessing for expectant mothers in the older Roman Ritual, which asks, among other things asks that God accept the offering of “a contrite heart and the fervent prayer of thy handmaid (name of mother),as she humbly pleads for the life of her offspring whom she has conceived by Thy will…may her infant happily see the light of day,and being reborn in holy baptism, forever seek Thy ways and come to everlasting life.”

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 9:26 AM By Maryanne Leonard
Frances, we need to invite personally, one by one, both our local priests and seminarians to join us outside abortion clinics so that they will indeed bless the poor child who is about to be murdered while we all pray that the mother will change her mind and let the child live the life that God intended to give her or him. I know priests are busy and so are seminarians, but their presence would make sure that a blessing is done, and that might have an impact on people’s thinking about abortions. A powerful visual image of that sort is also something that the media is likely to pick up on.

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 9:37 AM By Luz
Every priest should stop at their local abortion clinic in their state and say this blessing, in other states exorcism prayers are being said at abortion clinics and guess what, the clinics are closing!!!!! we not only need to pray we also need to fast too.

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 9:46 AM By JLS
Who will be made the patron or patroness saint for the unborn?

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 9:48 AM By MacDonald
“The official BOOK OF BLESSINGS contains over 800 pages of formal blessings that can be received upon request being made to a legal and moral priest (the highest form of blessing). The first listed is the Order for the Blessing of a Family. It is the first listed in Chapter 1 entitled: Orders for the Blessing of Families and Members of Families. It is right that the Church give priority to the members of the faith and those directly associated with the faith. Families are given first priority, then in sequence; married couples, children, engaged couples, parents before childbirth, mothers before and after childbirth, parents after a miscarriage, parents and an adopted child, on birthdays, and elderly couples.” (I just found this on the WWW; the BOOK OF BLESSINGS was published by the Vatican back in 1987, I believe…)

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 10:30 AM By Angelica
Great news indeed!

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 11:54 AM By Andy B
This is truly a great blsessing. In my opinion, every child murdered from the womb is nothing less than a martyr. An unborn martyr, who has not been baptized is indeed baptized by the Holy Spirit in death. The blood, the child so innocently spills, is that childs baptism into Christ. That is just my opinion from the heart.

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 12:02 PM By Andy B
JLS asked who would be the patron saint for the unborn. I am recommending St Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin. As it is written in the Gospels, she, and the unborn, St John the Baptist, were the first to recognize the unborn Christ as the Saviour. Who would be better to intercede on behalf of the unborn children?

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 1:08 PM By Patsy G.
I volunteer at a pregnancy resource center and we encourage a mother that has changed her mind about an abortion to consecrate her baby in her womb to Our Lady in our chapel, along with us. This a wonderful gift for our center–and we can also pass it along to our prayerline when we have an abortion minded mother that leaves our center.

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 1:28 PM By Victor M. Fierro
Can this blessing be done at a Abortion Chamber by someone other than a priest?

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 1:57 PM By Canisius
JLS I believe Our Lady of Guadalupe may already hold that title at least I know I have seen it on a few prayer cards….if not Our Lady would be the most logical choice.

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 1:58 PM By A Lady
About time! What PERSON doesn’t need a blessing?