The Blessing of the Newborn
The birth of a child is more than a joyful occasion or the fruit of conjugal love. It is an expression of God's love for humankind. From the moment of conception, God's spirit is evident, for without Him there can be no life. The Church, established by Jesus Christ to continue His redemptive work on earth, is therefore concerned about life from the moment of conception and birth.
Blessing on the First Day
The priest traditionally offers this beautiful service on the day a child is born, in either the hospital or the home. It includes prayers for the recovery of the mother and the protection of the child.
If you would like Fr. John to pray these prayers of blessing, you should let us know approximately two weeks in advance of your due date, (215) 635-0316.
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 (cf. Luke. 2:21). The prayers of the eighth day are traditionally offered by the priest in the home. On this day, special prayers are offered for the naming of the child.
If you would like Fr. John to pray these prayers of blessing for your child, please make arrangements through the church office before or as soon as possible after the birth.
The 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 for its first visit to the church.
Having first notified the church office as to the day and time, the mother and her child will be met by Fr. John in the narthex of the church where the appropriate prayers are offered. The child is then carried by the priest into the nave and to the Royal Gates followed by the mother. The mother proceeds to the iconostasis to venerate the icon of the Virgin Mary. Since the prayers allude to the reception of Holy Communion by the mother, it is recommended that she prepare to receive Holy Communion shortly after the forty-day blessing. Please note that on the day of the forty-day blessing, you and your child are to be in the narthex of the church no later than 10am. Please notify parish council members at the narthex of your arrival and they will gladly assist you.