Our Book of Common Prayer contains a whole section of services collected under the title “Pastoral Offices.” Here we find wedding and funeral services and a short liturgy called “Thanksgiving for the Birth or Adoption of a Child.” While long ago this service related to ritual purification of women, today it is used to welcome newborn infants and adopted children into an Episcopal community. A short version can be used at a hospital or in a home; the full rite takes place at a Sunday morning service at the exchange of the Peace.
The service consists of a brief address to the congregation by the Celebrant, followed by a recitation in unison of a The Song of Mary or a psalm. It concludes with a prayer of thanksgiving by the celebrant and then additional, optional prayers for safe delivery, for parents, for a child not baptized or already baptized, and a blessing of the family. Adopted children old enough to speak for themselves are asked if they take the woman as their mother and the man as their father, and then the adoptive parents make a response.
If you have recently given birth or adopted a child or children and would like to give thanks at Trinity, at home or in the hospital, please call the church office (812-336-4466) so that appropriate plans can be made to do so.