If you’re looking for the quick link template and Catholic blessingway prayers, here you go!
(Some of the most amazing women + mothers I’ll ever meet, at Katrina + Claire’s blessingway.)
During a routine prenatal appointment my midwife Mercedes told me about blessingways. I can’t remember exactly how she described them. The gist was: spiritual, intimate, babies, delicious food, and wine.
At home I Google’d away. Everything I pulled up was pretty hippie. This was perfect because I have long curly hair, lived in Berkeley for <12 months, and occasionally wear Free People – pretty much your basic hippie, I know.
Blessingways are a celebration of women, motherhood, and life that I wanted to be a part of. I immediately asked my sister-in-law to host one for Ronan and I. Later, I had the honor of hosting one for her and Claire.
It seems to me not enough women know about them. So, here’s a little how-to. (Fear not – you don’t have to be a flower child to have a blessingway!)
This is a Catholic blessingway template. The prayers are adapted from the 1989 Book of Blessings from The Liturgical Press. We added petitions to some of our favorite mother saints and sang my favorite, “Ave Maria Gratia Plena.” Katrina created it for my blessingway and I added on for hers. The link is public – please share and print! Just change all of the blue writing to make it personal for the expectant mother and baby.
There is no right or wrong way, so take what you like and leave what you don’t.
You’ll light candles together in prayer at the blessingway. Have one woman set up a phone-train for later. Once the mother goes into labor, text each other, and light your candles. Keep the candles burning as a reminder to pray for the laboring mother and child. I was laboring at the hospital when Bradley showed me the photos the girls had sent of their burning candles. This was motivational and heartwarming for me. Here are the photos they sent:
(The candles are unscented and from Target. The plates I found at the St. Vincent de Paul’s Thrift Store earlier in the year.)
Beads + String
Every woman brings a special bead. At the blessingway, thread a bracelet for the mother-to-be to wear until birthing time. When you thread you bead you share your intention for mother and child. The other women also receive simple yarn on their wrist. This reminds them to keep the expectant mother and child in prayer. (My sister told me this was the most effective way to remind her to pray for someone! If you want a lot of prayers just tie yourself to your friends’ wrists.) When mama has the baby you cut it off.
Normally, I’m all about being inclusive. (Ayhem, I had 10 bridesmaids + 2 junior bridesmaids.) For your blessingway invite the women closest to you, who will bless and support you as you welcome this new life to the world.
Have each woman fill out an intention slip. (These are at the bottom of the blessingway Google Doc.) These are a forever treasure for the mother-to-be.
Snack + Drinks
Wouldn’t be a party without them.