Blessings for a new born child and the mother
Genesis 1:28 King James Version (KJV)
“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
God’s greatest expression of love to mankind is shown through the fruits of the conjugal love between a husband and his wife on the joyful occasion of the birth of a child. During the Orthodox Wedding Service, the priest recites prayers and blessings for the couple to have children and furthermore to see their children’s children, and for their protection and health.
The Orthodox Church has dedicated prayers for the protection of the new born child and the mother and are as follows:
Blessing of the First Day
This beautiful service is traditionally performed by the priest either in the hospital or the home on the day in which a child is born, and it includes prayers for the recovery of the mother and the protection of the new born child. It is recommended that if you wish for a priest to attend please notify the priest in advance so as to be best prepared.
Blessing on the Eighth Day
Although we often think of the service of baptism as the occasion for the solemn naming of a child, this is more properly done on the eighth day, just as our Lord received his name, “Jesus,” on the eighth day (Luke. 2:21). The “prayers of the eighth day” are performed by the priest in the Narthex of the church, whereby the grandparents or godparents to be bring the child to the church so that special prayers are offered for the naming of the child, the mother is not present on this day.
Forty Day Blessing
Forty days after birth and in accordance with the Old Testament tradition observed by the Virgin Mary (Luke 2:22-24), the mother brings her child to the Church. On this day both mother (this being her first day she returns to the church after childbirth) having informed the priest arrives at the church and is met by the priest at the Narthex whereupon the priest reads prayers for both the mother and the child.
The priest will take the child and brings it from the Narthex into the main body of the church “Nave” resitting prayers as he brings the child further into the church and drawers closer to the iconostasis followed by the mother. The priest will raise the child in front of each icon on the iconostasis saying “The servant of God (child’s name) is brought within the church, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” making the sign of the cross with the child at each icon.
If the child is a boy, the priest will further take the child into the Sanctuary “Ieron” and recite the same prayer at every corner of the altar, then return it to it’s mother to conclude the service.
On all occasions we advise that you first contact the church to arrange an amicable time, as the priest may be conducting another service or maybe out visiting parishioners in hospitals or maybe unavailable.
For the safety of all please feel free to use our car park which is located at the rear of the church rather than try to find space on the busy road.
We strongly advise that all parents and grandparents NOT to place onto the child (or use this item in any way) the amatopetra as this is NOT Orthodox but in actual fact is Pagan in it’s roots and contrary to all Orthodox teachings. The Godparent (during the baptism service) standing for the child renounces the Devil and all his works, angels and machination as they pledge loyalty and unity with Christ. Therefore, this item has NO place within our faith and our life’s. As Orthodox Christians you should be either pinning a crucifix onto the child’s clothing or hanging the crucifix over their cot with an Orthodox icon.
Please note that priest will NOT read any prayers or blessings over the child or mother if this item is seen, and will ask that this item be removed and disposed immediately. For further information about what pagan idols and symbols to avoid please feel free to contact one the priests.