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Catholic Prayer: Book of Blessings: Blessing of Parents and an Adopted Child

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302 The adoption of a child is an important event in the lives of a married couple or a single parent. This blessing serves as a public thanksgiving for the precious gift of a child and as a welcome of the child into its new family.

303 If the child is old enough to respond, provision is made for the child to accept the new parents as his or her own. In this case, the introduction of the rite should be adapted to the circumstances, and a more appropriate reading may be chosen.

304 If there is only one parent, the rite should be adapted to the circumstances by the minister.

305 This order may be used by a priest or a deacon, and also by a layperson, who follows the rites and prayers designated for a lay minister.

Prayer:

ORDER OF BLESSING

INTRODUCTORY RITES

306 When the community has gathered, a suitable song may be sung. After the singing, the minister says: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

All make the sign of the cross and reply: Amen.

307 A minister who is a priest or deacon greets those present in the following or other suitable words, taken mainly from sacred Scripture. May the love of God be with you always.

And all reply: And also with you.

308 A lay minister greets those present in the following words: Let us praise our loving God. Blessed be God for ever.

R. Blessed be God for ever.

309 In the following or similar words, the minister prepares those present for the blessing. It has pleased God our heavenly Father to answer the earnest prayers of N. and N. for the gift of a child. Today we join them in offering heartfelt thanks for the joyful and solemn responsibility which becomes theirs by the arrival of N. into their family.

READING OF THE WORD OF GOD

310 A reader, another person present, or the minister reads a text of sacred Scripture. Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the holy gospel according to Mark:

10:13-16 Jesus blesses the little children. People were bringing children to Jesus that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked the people. When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to the disciples, "Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it." Then he embraced the children and blessed them, placing his hands on them.

311 Or: Deuteronomy 6:4-7--Diligently teach your children. Deuteronomy 31:12-13--Do this that your children may hear. 1 Samuel 1:9-11, 20-28; 2:26--The birth and presentation of Samuel. Matthew 18:1-4--Those who humble themselves like children will be the greatest. Luke 2:22-32, 52--Presentation of Jesus in the temple.

312 As circumstances suggest, one of the following responsorial psalms may be sung, or some other suitable song.

R. 0 Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8 O LORD, our Lord, how glorious is your name over all the earth! You have exalted your majesty above the heavens. Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings you have fashioned praise because of your foes, to silence the hostile and the vengeful. R.

When I behold your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you set in place-- What is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man that you should care for him? R.

You have made him little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him rule over the works of your hands, putting all things under his feet: R.

All sheep and oxen, yes, and the beasts of the field, The birds of the air, the fishes of the sea, and whatever swims the paths of the seas. R.

O LORD, our Lord, how glorious is your name over all the earth! R.

Psalm 78:1-7 R. (v. 4) Tell the coming generations the glorious deeds of the Lord.

313 As circumstances suggest, the minister may give those present a brief explanation of the biblical text, so that they may understand through faith the meaning of the celebration.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT BY THE CHILD AND PARENTS

314 The minister asks the parents: You have received N. into your family; will you (continue to) love and care for him/her?

Parents: We will.

315 If the child is old enough to answer, the minister asks: You have accepted N. and N. as your parents; will you love and respect them?

The child replies: I will.

316 The minister says: As God has made us all his children by grace and adoption, may this family always abide in his love.

The Canticle of Mary or another hymn of praise may then be sung.

INTERCESSIONS

317 The intercessions are then said. The minister introduces them and an assisting minister or one of those present announces the intentions. From the following those best suited to the occasion may be used or adapted, or other intentions that apply to the particular circumstances may be composed.

The minister says:

God is the author of all life and calls us into his loving family; with thankful hearts we pray:

R. Loving Father, hear us.

Assisting minister: For the Church throughout the world, that it may nurture, guide, protect and love all who are joined to it in baptism, let us pray to the Lord. R.

Assisting minister: For N. and N. and their new son/daughter, N., that God may bind them together in love as a family in Christ, let us pray to the Lord. R.

Assisting minister: [For the brother(s) and sister(s) of N., that they may grow in friendship and love, let us pray to the Lord. R.

Assisting minister: For married couples who desire the gift of a child, that God may hear their prayers, let us pray to the Lord. R.

Assisting minister: For all Christian families, that the love of Christ may dwell in their homes, let us pray to the Lord. R.

318 After the intercessions the minister, in the following or similar words, invites all present to sing or say the Lord's Prayer. As God's children by adoption, we pray:

All: Our Father . . .

PRAYER OF BLESSING

319 A minister who is a priest or deacon says the prayer of blessing with hands outstretched over the parents and child; a lay minister says the prayer with hands joined.

Loving God, your Son has taught us that whoever welcomes a child in his name, welcomes him. We give you thanks for N., whom N. and N. have welcomed into their family. Bless this family. Confirm a lively sense of your presence with them and grant to these parents patience and wisdom, that their lives may show forth the love of Christ as they bring N. up to love all that is good.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

As circumstances suggest, the minister in silence may sprinkle the family with holy water.

CONCLUDING RITE

320 A minister who is a priest or deacon concludes the rite by saying: May almighty God, who has called us into the family of Christ, fill you with grace and peace, now and for ever. R. Amen.

Then he blesses all present. And may almighty God bless you all, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit. R. Amen.

321 A lay minister concludes the rite by signing himself or herself with the sign of the cross and saying: May almighty God, who has called us into the family of Christ, fill us with grace and peace, now and for ever. R. Amen.

322 It is preferable to end the celebration with a suitable song.

Prayer Source: Book of Blessings by Prepared by International Commission on English in the Liturgy A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops' Conferences, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1989
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