Celebrating Our Beginnings

A Blessing for Birth

Written by Renée Miller

Smiling babyIt's a great miracle—the miracle of the birth of a human body. What started as the smallest seed of hope bursts into the flesh and sinew of potential and possibility. In the movement of that seed of hope into an enfleshed human being, we see the full circle of life in all its splendor. It seems easy to greet a newborn infant with joy and delight and at the same time hold within ourselves a belief that holiness and wholeness of the infant will occur only over the course of time.

While it is true that a child will grow more and more into the fullness of their humanity and spirituality as their body matures, it is also true that the body at its birth is already a whole and holy human being. Isn't that really the miracle, after all? Not just that birth happens, but that the enfleshed body, so full of newness and freshness, is holy not because of what it does or does not do, but simply because it is created in the image of God?

It might be helpful to use this blessing prayer when next you encounter the birth of an infant. Or, imagine being present as a bystander at your own birth. Place your hand on your head or your heart, and pray the blessing prayer for the infant you once were.

O God, bless this body that you have created in the divine image.
As this body greets the created world, bless its newness and potentiality.
Bless it with the power of your unconditional and eternal love.
Bless the organs, the mind, the heart, the muscles and bones
with the warmth of your touch.
Bless it in stillness and activity, in fear and in security,
in pain and joy, in life and in death.
And in the soul in which this body resides, let your holiness and wholeness dwell.
I ask this in the name of God. Amen.

Copyright ©2003 Renée Miller