Like any ceremony or gathering, a Mother Blessing should have an opening, body and a closing. I have made some suggestions on how to conduct your Mother Blessing, but there are no “rules.” Your ceremony should be guided by the expecting mothers own spiritual beliefs and lifestyle. Mother Blessings are usually conducted with participants seated in a circle which symbolizes strength and unity and so that everyone can participate equally (see Decorations for a Mother Blessing for more details).
Opening a Mother Blessing Blessingway
Welcome Your Guests and Explain Your Intentions
The Mother Blessing should start with a welcome greeting from the host. If your guests are new to Mother Blessings, explain what a Mother Blessing (blessingway description). Set out the ground rules that a Mother Blessing is meant to support the mother and positively prepare her for labor.
Smuding is done to purge negative energy and welcome positive forces. If you have your own purification technique, feel free to use it here. Otherwise, you can purchase a smudge stick and “purify” the person to your left and continue going clockwise in a circle. Alternately, you can also burn sage and/or cedar incense. If any of your guests are sensitive to smoke, you can also use a cedar aromatherapy mister for the same purpose. Any songs that welcome positive energy may be sung during the purification, but it is not required. In fact, smudging itself isn’t required, but it is a nice way to open everyone to the ceremony and invite positive energy to the group.
In addition to welcoming your guests, you should also welcome the spirits with an invocation or prayer. You may use any opening prayer or incantation from your own religion, create one yourself from scratch, or use the Poetry for a Mother Blessing page. Some of the forces you may wish to appeal to include:
- angels of birth
- spirit guides
- your own higher powers
- forces of nature
- Great Mother
- Heavenly Father
…or whatever your belief system indicates. The invocation should be spoken in a slow and reverent, but eloquent tone making the room receptive to spiritual allies
To finish the blessingway opening, each guest should have a turn to introduce themselves and express their wish for the Mother Blessing and what they would like to contribute to it. A nice touch to add would be to have each guest also “introduce” her mother and grandmothers by sharing their names with the group. To transition into the main part of the ceremony, allow each guest to share a birth story, poem, song or instrument.
The Body of a Mother Blessing (Blessingway)
Transition into your Mother Blessing ritual activities. There is no set order for conducting each ritual, so you can do them in whatever order makes sense to you. You may wish to first tell your guests which rituals you will be performing. You can play music or sing songs during each activity.
Typically, grooming of the expecting mother is done first, so if you want to do a foot bath and/or hair grooming, start with those.
After the mother is feeling completely indulged, guests can present their gifts to her going clockwise around the circle. More information about gifts for a Mother Blessing.
Continue by creating a birthing necklace, birthing wreath, belly cast, belly painting, meditation stones or whatever activities you have prepared for the Mother Blessing. You do not need to do all of these! Choose the ones that appeal the most to the expecting mother and fit into the allotted time frame. But, if you have all day, by all means try them all!
If you do the “wrist binding,” I find that a very nice note to end the main part of the ceremony as everyone is joined together and then cut apart.
Closing a Mother Blessing
Once the expecting mother is has been showered with blessingway rituals, you can close the ceremony by first making sure that each guest has had a chance to share what they wanted to share with the expecting mother.
To close the ceremony, a song, poem or prayer sung/read together while holding hands can make a nice way to bring the group together one last time.
Thank your guests for coming and for the positive energy they imbued on the celebration; if you are giving favors such as a candle or handmade soap, make sure to ask your guests to take one and use it as a reminder of the wishes they’re supposed to keep making after the Mother Blessing is over.
Thank the helping spirits you invited during the invocation for their participation.
If you are having a meal or food, invite everyone to join. If not, simply say goodbye.
Sample Mother Blessing Format
Here is how my Mother Blessing went:
- We snacked on appetizers as everyone arrived.
- The host gathered us together in her living room where she had set the chairs in a large, but comfy circle.
- She welcomed everyone and explained the Mother Blessing.
- It was a nice summer day, so we went outside to decorate some meditation stones — and continued to snack!
- While everyone was working on the stones, the host gave me a the best foot bath ever!
- While the stones were drying we went back inside to the living room where we continued by having everyone present their trinket and wish for the birthing necklace.
- The guests presented their gifts to me which included everything from handmade blankets to a baby potty to a song played on a handmade flute and a poetry reading.
- We thanked everyone for their contributions and asked them to take a candle with them with the request that they light it soon and continue making their wishes for my labor and delivery (which by the way went very well! I gave birth at home in a birthing tub and really couldn’t have asked for a more ideal birth! Plus I have the most adorable, loving and smart baby girl ever! I’m not proud much.)