Prayer and rite for the expectant Mother from the Book of Blessings: Ritual Edition (Roman Ritual)
215 A husband and wife participate in God’s love through the sacrament of marriage and cooperate in the gift of life through the conception of a child. It is appropriate that they receive God’s blessing together as they wait in faith and hope for the birth of their child.
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When only the mother is present, the Order for the Blessing of a Mother before Childbirth, nos. 240-252, is used.
216 The blessing may be celebrated at any time during the pregnancy.
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217 These orders may be used by a priest or a deacon, and also by a layperson, who follows the rites and prayers designated for a lay minister, or a family member.
232 All make the sign of the cross as the minister says:
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
All reply: Now and for ever.
233 One of those present or the minister reads a text of sacred Scripture, for example:
Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the first book of Samuel: 1:19-20, 24-2:1 The birth of Samuel.
Early the next morning Elkanah and Hannah worshiped before the Lord, and then returned to their home in Ramah. When Elkanah had relations with his wife Hannah, the Lord remembered her. She conceived, and at the end of her term bore a son whom she called Samuel, since she had asked the Lord for him.
Once he was weaned, she brought him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and presented him at the temple of the Lord in Shiloh. After the boy’s father had sacrificed the young bull, Hannah, his mother, approached Eli and said: “Pardon, my lord” As you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood near you here, praying to the Lord. I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted my request. Now I, in turn, give him to the Lord: as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the Lord.”
She left him there; and as she worshiped the Lord, she said:
“My heart exults in the Lord,
my horn is exalted in my God.
I have swallowed up my enemies;
I rejoice in my victory.”
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Luke 1:26-38 — You shall conceive and bear a son.
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
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235 A minister who is a priest or deacon says the prayer of blessing, with hands outstretched over the parents; a lay minister says the prayer with hands joined.
your Word, spoken in love, created the human family
and, in the fullness of time,
your son, conceived in love, restored it to your friendship.
Hear the prayers of N. and N.,
Who await the birth of their child.
Calm their fears when they are anxious.
Watch over and support these parents
and bring their child into this world
safely and in good health,
so that as members of your family
they may praise you and glorify you
through your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
now and for ever.