Orthodoxy is filled with traditions and with blessing but some of these has fallen out of use. I am one of those priests that is attempting to bring back many of these traditions. Recently I had the opportunity to bless an apiary and a new barn for parishioners that was a first for me but these are very traditional blessings that harken back to a time when we relied on the fruits of the earth cared for with our own hands. Since many people are going back to back yard farming these prayers are important.
Another set of prayers are those around the birth of a new baby. If you follow me on Facebook then you know that we recently had a new baby born in the parish, the 5th generation here at St. Michael and this is very exciting for us. As the couple was preparing for the birth I mentioned that there are several prayers and services that come along with the birth, so on the night he was born, I went to hospital and read the prayers “Blessing at Childbirth.” This is read on the day, or as close to the day of the birth as possible. Little Max was only hours old when I had the blessing of praying this prayer with him, and for him and his family.
Another such prayer is read on the 8th day and that is the “Service of the Giving a Name to the Child on the Eighth Day.” This is a wonderful service that I have had the honor to now serve three times. The two previous times were for the children of fellow clergy. I wrote about it at the time here.
The prayer is very simple and beautiful
O Lord our God, we pray to you and beseech you let the light of your countenance shine upon your servant (N) and let the Cross of your only-begotten Son be sealed n his heart and in his thoughts, so as to escape the vanity of the world and every evil plot of the enemy and follow your commandments. And grant, O Lord, that your holy name shall remain indelible upon him, so that at the proper time he will be attached to your Church and be perfected by the awesome mysteries of your Christ; so that having lived in accordance with your commandments, and having kept the seal inviolate, he may achieve the blessedness of your chosen ones in your kingdom.
Through the grace and love for man of your only-begotten Son with whom you are blessed, together with your all-holy and good and life-giving Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Next up will be the Prayer for Mother and Child Forty Days after Birth.