The Churching of Women

The Book of Common Prayer Table of contents

The Thanksgiving of Woman after Child-Birth

Commonly Called

The Churching of Woman

The Woman, at the usual time after her delivery, shall come into the Church decently apparelled, and there shall kneel down in some convenient place, as hath been accustomed, or as the Ordinary shall direct: And then the Priest shall say unto her,

Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God of his goodness to give you safe deliverance, and hath preserved you in the great danger of child-birth: You shall therefore give hearty thanks unto God, and say,

Then shall the Priest say the 116th Psalm.

Dilexi quoniam

am well pleased : that the Lord hath heard the voice of my prayer;

That he hath inclined his ear unto me : therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.

The snares of death compassed me round about: and the pains of hell gat hold upon me.

I found trouble and heaviness, and I called upon the name of the Lord : O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous: yea, our God is merciful.

The Lord preserveth the simple : I was in misery, and he helped me.

Turn again then unto thy rest, O my soul : for the Lord hath rewarded thee.

And why? thou hast delivered my soul from death : mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.

I will walk before the Lord : in the land of the living.

I believed, and therefore will I speak; but I was sore troubled : I said in my haste, All men are liars.

What reward shall I give unto the Lord : for all the benefits that he hath done unto me?

I will receive the cup of salvation : and call upon the name of the Lord.

I will pay my vows now in the presence of all his people : in the courts of the Lord's house, even in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

Or Psalm 127.

Nisi Dominus

Except the Lord build the house : their labour is but lost that build it.

Except the Lord keep the city : the watchman waketh but in vain.

It is but lost labour that ye haste to rise up early, and so late take rest, and eat the bread of carefulness : for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

Lo, children and the fruit of the womb : are an heritage and gift that cometh of the Lord.

Like as the arrows in the hand of the giant: even so are the young children.

Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them : they shall not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

Then shall the Priest say,

Let us pray.

Lord, have mercy upon us.

Christ, have mercy upon us.

Lord, have mercy upon us.

 

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen.

Minister. O Lord, save this woman thy servant;

Answer.Who putteth her trust in thee.

Minister. Be thou to her a strong tower;

Answer.From the face of her enemy.

Minister. Lord, hear our prayer.

Answer.And let our cry come unto thee.



Minister.

Let us pray.

Almighty God, we give thee humble thanks for that thou hast vouchsafed to deliver this woman thy servant from the great pain and peril of child-birth: Grant, we beseech thee, most merciful Father, that she through thy help may both faithfully live and walk according to thy will, in this life present; and also may be partaker of everlasting glory in the life to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Woman, that cometh to give her thanks, must offer accustomed offerings; and, if there be a Communion, it is convenient that she receive the holy Communion.

Text from The Book of Common Prayer, the rights in which are vested in the Crown,
is reproduced by permission of the Crown's Patentee, Cambridge University Press.