Vatican Approves English and Spanish Texts for ‘Blessing of a Child in the Womb’

March 26, 2012 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—The Vatican has approvedthe publication of the "Rite for the Blessing of a Child in the Womb," whichwill be printed in English and Spanish in a combined booklet and should beavailable for parishes by Mothers' Day. The U.S. bishops who collaborated onthe development of the blessing welcomed the announcement of the recognitio, or approval, by theCongregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in Rome.

"I'm impressed with the beauty of this blessing for humanlife in the womb," said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chairmanof the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of CatholicBishops (USCCB). "I can think of no better day to announce this news than onthe feast of the Annunciation, when we remember Mary's 'yes' to God and the incarnationof that child in her the womb that saved the world."

"We wanted to make this announcement as soon as possible sothat parishes might begin to look at how this blessing might be woven into thefabric of parish life," said Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans, chairmanof the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship."Eventually the new blessing will be included in the Book of Blessings whenthat text is revised."

The blessing was prepared to support parentsawaiting the birth of their child, to encourage parish prayers for andrecognition of the precious gift of the child in the womb, and to fosterrespect for human life within society. It can be offered within the context of theMass as well as outside of Mass.

The blessing originated when then-Bishop JosephKurtz of Knoxville, Tennessee (now archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky) asked theUSCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities to see if a blessing existed for a childin the womb. When none was found, the committee prepared a text and submittedit to the USCCB's Divine Worship committee in March of 2008. It was approved bythe full body of bishops in November 2008, and then sent to Rome for editingand final approval.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, U.S. bishops,USCCB, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Rite for theBlessing of a Child in the Womb, Committee on Divine Worship, English, Spanish,Archbishop Gregory Aymond

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