Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Friday, 9 September 2016


Illustration: PINTEREST

The ancient custom of "Churching" after childbirth.
A mother would go to Church when she could, to thank God for her delivery, and to obtain Graces, though the Priest’s Blessing, for the Graces to help her raise her child in a Christian manner.

The Prayers indicate that this “Churching” Blessing is intended solely for the benefit of the mother.
Therefore, it is not necessary that she should bring the child with her.

The following Text is from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal.

The "Churching" of Women.

It is customary for mothers to go to Church, as soon
as they are able 
to go out again, to be "Churched".

The Ceremony consists in a special Blessing, which recalls the visit of The Holy Family at The Temple of Jerusalem for The Presentation of Our Lord and The Purification of The Blessed Virgin.

The women, who receives this Blessing, kneels at the entrance of the Church,
holding a lighted candle in her hand; and the Priest sprinkles her with Holy Water and says:

Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini
(Our help is in the name of The Lord).
Qui fecit caelum et terram
(Who hath made Heaven and Earth).

Haec accipiet
(She shall receive).

Psalm xxiii.
Domini est terra.

Domini est terra et plenitudo ejus:*
orbis terrárum, et univérsi qui hábitant in eo
(The Earth is The Lord's and the fullness thereof:
the World, and all they that dwell therein).

Quia ipse super mária fundávit eum:*
et super flumina praeparávit eum.
(For He hath founded it upon the seas;
and hath prepared it upon the rivers).

Quis ascéndet in montem Domini ?*
aut quis stabit in loco sancto ejus ?
(Who shall ascend into the mountain of The Lord:
Or who shall stand in His holy place ?).

Innocens mánibus et mundo corde:*
qui non accépit in vano ánimam suam, nec jurávit in dolo proximo suo
(The innocent in hands, and clean of heart, who hath not taken his Soul in vain,
nor sworn deceitfully to his neighbour).

Hic accipiet benedictionem a Domino:*
et misericordiam a Deo salutári  suo
(He shall receive a Blessing from The Lord,
and mercy from God his Saviour).

Haec est generátio quaeréntium eum,*
quaeréntium fáciem Dei Jacob
(This is the generation of them
that seek the face of The God of Jacob).

Attollite portas, principes, vestras, et elevámini, portae aeternáles:*
et introibit Rex gloriae
(Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates:
and The King of Glory shall enter in).

Quis est iste Rex gloriae ? Dominus fortis et potens.*
Dominus potens in praélio
(Who is this King of Glory ? The Lord who is strong and mighty:
The Lord mighty in battle).

Attollite portas, principes, vestras, et elevámini portae aeternáles:*
et introibit Rex gloriae
(Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates:
And The King of Glory shall enter in).

Quis est iste Rex gloriae ?
Dominus virtutum ipse est Rex gloriae
(Who is this King of Glory ?
The Lord of hosts, He is The King of Glory).

Gloria Patri . . .
(Glory be to The Father . . .).

Haec accipiet benedictionem a Domino,
et misericordiam a Deo salutári suo:
quia haec est generátio quaeréntium Dominum
(She shall receive a Blessing from The Lord, and mercy from God her Saviour:
For this is the generation of them that seek The Lord).

Then, placing the end of his Stole in the woman's hand,
the Priest introduces her into the Church, saying:

Ingrédere in templum Dei, adora Filium Beátae Mariae Virginis,
qui tibi foecunditátem tribuit prolis
(Enter into the temple of God, adore The Son of The Blessed Virgin Mary,
who gave thee fruitfulness of offspring).

The mother kneels before the Altar, and Prays,
giving thanks to God for the benefits bestowed upon her;
and the Priest says:

Kyrie eléison
(Lord, have mercy).
Christe eléison
(Christ, have mercy).
Kyrie eléison
(Lord, have mercy).

Pater noster (secreto)
(Our Father (silently).

Et ne nos inducas in tentationem
(And lead us not into temptation).
Sed libera nos a malo
(But deliver us from evil).

Salvam fac ancillam tuam, Domine
(Save Thine handmaid, O Lord).
Deus meus, sperántem in te
(Who hopeth in Thee, O my God).

Mitte ei, Domine, auxilium de sancto
(Send her help, O Lord,
from The Sanctuary).
Et de Sion tuére eam
(And defend her out of Sion)

Nihil proficiat inimicus in ea
(Let not the enemy prevail against her).
Et filius iniquitátis non apponat nocére ei
(Nor the son of iniquity approach to hurt her).

Domine, exáudi orationem mea
(O Lord, hear my Prayer).
Et clamor meus ad te véniat
(And let my cry come unto Thee).

Dominus vobiscum
(The Lord be with you).
Et cum spiritu tuo
(And with thy spirit).

(Let us Pray).

Omnipotens sempitérne Deus, qui per Beátae Mariae Virginis partum fidélium pariéntium dolores
in gáudium vertisti: réspice propitius super hanc fámulam tuam, ad templum sanctum tuum,
ad templum sanctum tuum pro gratiárum actione laetam accedéntem, et praesta, ut post hanc
vitam, ejusdem Beátae Mariae méritis et intercessione , ad aetérnae beatitudinis gáudia
cum prole sua pervenire mereátur.
Per Christum Dominum nostrum.

(Almighty, everlasting God, Who, through the delivery of The Blessed Virgin Mary, hast turned into joy the pains of The Faithful in childbirth, look mercifully upon this Thine handmaid, coming in gladness to Thy temple to offer up her thanks: And grant that, after this life, by the merits and intercession of the same Blessed Mary, she may merit to arrive, together with her offspring, at the joys of everlasting happiness.
Through Christ Our Lord).

Then the Priest sprinkles the mother with Holy Water in the form of a Cross, saying:

Pax, et benedictio Dei omnipoténtis,
Patris + et Filii, et Spiritus sancti
descéndat super te, et máneat semper.

(The peace and Blessing of God Almighty,
The Father + and The Son, and The Holy Ghost,
descend upon thee, and abide for ever).

There is also an excellent Article on "Churching" on

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