About The Mother Blessing
A Mother Blessing ritual can be designed for the mother only, or it may include her partner and/or children. The ceremony is a wonderful way to honor both new mothers and experienced parents who are celebrating the addition of a new family member. The mother chooses the guest list. She may wish to consider if she would prefer to only invite women, or if the participants will be co-ed. The invitation list may include friends, family, and members of her spiritual community.
To prepare for a Mother Blessing ritual, I meet with the new mother and any other family members that she would like to be honored at the ceremony. During this time, we determine the spiritual focus of the ritual. I will encourage the mother to share any stories, symbols, hopes, dreams, wishes, and fears she has surrounding labor and the transition to a new family dynamic. During this consultation time, if requested, I may lead the mother through a guided meditation to uncover and clarify elements that may be hidden from the conscious mind that she may wish to represent in the ritual. After the consultation, I will synthesize these ideas, weaving them into a ceremony that will support the mother on her journey to parenthood. During this time, I will communicate with the mother to be sure we’re on the right track – though this may not mean telling her every detail! Many mothers enjoy leaving the details of the ceremony a surprise! Others may wish to know many elements of the ceremony in advance – I will be happy to accommodate either preference.
The following is a sample a Mother Blessing ceremony, describing the ritual Joy facilitated for Opal before the birth of her daughter. To prepare for the ceremony, Opal shared with Joy that the symbol of the labyrinth was speaking to her as a powerful way to navigate the unknown terrain of parenthood. Opal felt it was important for her to become more comfortable with “not knowing,” and instead to “feel her way through the darkness.”
The event began with a time for the guests to write blessings and advice for Opal, and put their energy into a candle gifted to her during the ceremony. The ritual included a meditation in which she explored the labyrinth and received wisdom and encouragement from her spirit guides. The highlight of the ceremony was when the participants honored Opal by decorating and blessing her belly with henna. There are many other option for honoring the mother in this way, such as massage, belly casting, anointing, etc. The ceremony ended with optional gift giving. These gifts were intended to nurture Opal as a new mother, rather than being practical items for the baby, such as those given during a traditional baby shower. The focus was on honoring Opal in her role as a mother throughout the ceremony.
For many mothers, the Mother Blessing is one of the highlights of her pregnancy. For Opal, it was certainly a beautiful way to honor the sacred nature of pregnancy, motherhood, and family life. Feeling the outpouring of love and support services was valuable preparation for the journey ahead.
About The Baby Blessing
A Baby Blessing is a ceremony crafted to honor and welcome the new baby into the world. This ceremony may take shape in several different ways, depending on the wishes of the parents. For instance, the parents may choose for the baby blessing to take place close to the birth with a small, intimate guest list. Parents might instead choose to wait until well after the birth, and use the ceremony to welcome the baby into the wider community. A baby blessing may also be a time for guests to make commitments to support and guide the baby as they grow and mature; offering their hopes, dreams, and blessings for the baby’s future. Just as a mother blessing ceremony surrounds the mother-to-be with a cocoon of support, the baby blessing also offers support to the new parents from their friends and family as they embark on the journey of parenthood. You may be as involved as you like in planning your Baby Blessing ritual; or allow us to surprise you! Get in touch with us to begin creating your unique Baby Blessing ritual.
Here are examples of what two different Baby Blessing rituals might look like.
In this Baby Blessing ritual the Smith family asks me to craft a ceremony to welcome their newborn into their extended family. This ceremony is created to give the opportunity for family members to vocalize their long term commitments to the baby as he grows and develops across the course of his lifetime. We begin by sharing prayers from their faith tradition. The family members then offer verbal blessings to the newborn, and carve their name into a special candle gifted to the baby as a symbol of their commitment. The ceremony is followed by sharing a meal together. Extra food is left for the parents to enjoy.
In this Baby Blessing ritual, the Green family asks me to create a ceremony to welcome their four month old into the family’s larger social support network. At four months old, the baby is becoming interested in the outside world, beyond her mother’s arms, making it a perfect time to hold a ritual to mark this transition. In this ritual, the family’s friends offer blessings for the child, and state ways they will support the parents in their new roles. Because parenting is a “messy and fun art,” as each guest vocalizes their support, they splatter paint onto a canvas. This “Jackson Pollock” captures the energy of the ceremony and the infant’s emerging interest in the world. The painting is then displayed in the baby’s room.