The U.S. bishops are encouraging parishes to incorporate into their communities a new blessing for a child in the womb, which the Vatican approved on March 25.
“I’m impressed with the beauty of this blessing for human life in the womb,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
“I can think of no better day to announce this news than on the feast of the Annunciation, when we remember Mary’s Yes to God and the Incarnation of that child in her the womb that saved the world.”
The prayer, titled “Rite for the Blessing of a Child in the Womb,” is intended to support parents awaiting the birth of their child and to encourage prayers for the child in the womb, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reports. The prayer is also intended to foster respect for human life.
The blessing will be printed in a combined English-and-Spanish-language booklet. It can be offered both during Mass and outside of Mass.
The bishops wanted to make the announcement of the blessing as soon as possible so that parishes might consider how to incorporate the blessing into parish life, said Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship.
“Eventually the new blessing will be included in the Book of Blessings when that text is revised,” he said, referring to the liturgical book that contains all the approved blessings of the Church.
Although EWTN News requested a copy of the blessing, a media-relations official with the USCCB told the agency on March 26 that the Committee for Divine Worship is not yet prepared to share the final text. It is still being edited to incorporate changes to the English-language version and to include the Spanish-language version.
The release of the text is expected for around Mother’s Day.