The Thanksgiving of Women After Childbirth, Commonly Called, the Churching of Women

1661 Book of Common Prayer

Source: F.E. Brightman, The English Rite II (London: Rivingtons, 1915), 881-885.

The Woman, at the vsual 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 vnto 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 vnto God, and say.

Then shall the Priest say the 116 Psalm.

[Dilexi quoniam Psal: 116.

I am well pleased: that the Lord
hath heard the voice of my Prayer.

That he hath inclined his eare
vnto me: therefore will I call vpon
him as long as I live.
The snares of death compassed
me round about; and the pains of
hell gat hold vpon me.

I found trouble and heaviness,
and I called vpon the Name of the
Lord: O Lord, I beseech thee, de-
liver my soul.
Gratious is the Lord, and right-
eous,: yea our God is mercifull.

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

Turn again then vnto thy rest,
O my soul: for the Lord hath re-
warded thee.

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

I will walke before the Lord: in
the Land of the living.

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

What reward shall I give vnto
the Lord: for all the Benefits that
he hath don vnto me ?

I will receive the cup of salva-
tion: and call vpon the Name of
the Lord.

I will pay my vowes now in the
presence of all his people,: in the
courts of the Lords house, even in
the midst of thee, O Ierusalem.
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.

Or Psalm 27.

Nisi Dominus. Psal. 127

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 hast
to rise vp early, and so late take
rest, and eat the bread of careful-
ness: for so he giveth his beloved

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

Like as the Arrowes in the hand
of the giant: even so are the young

Happie 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 with-
out end. Amen.

Then the Priest shall say.

Let vs pray.

Lord have mercy vpon vs.
Christ haue mercy vpon vs.
Lord have mercy vpon vs.

Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be don in earth, as it is in
Heaven. Give vs this day our daily bread,
And forgive vs our trespasses, As
we forgive them that trespass against vs.

And lead vs not into temptation,:

But deliver vs from evil. For thine
is the Kingdom, the power, and the
glory, For ever and ever. Amen.

O Lord save this woman thy servant .

Who putteth her trust in thee.

Be thou to her a strong tower.

From the face of her Enemy.

Lord hear our prayer.

And let our Cry come vnto thee.

Let vs pray. O 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 mercifull 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 lesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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

This text marked up by Michael Fraser, April 1995