News about a child’s birth brings absolute joy! The new parents, family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, as well as casual associates, join in celebrating the happy occasion.
The ancient Egyptians and Greeks celebrated births, too. They held special ceremonies and rituals. These took place after a period of seclusion for the mother and child, since both were deemed “impure” during the immediate aftermath of birth. Once “purified,” the celebration would include the naming of the child and the gift of a special meal for the new mom.
During the Middle Ages, once Christianity was the official religion throughout most of Europe, the birth of a child would include the baptismal blessing, and oftentimes, would involve the Godparents gifting a set of silver spoons. Not for all children, however, hence the expression, “not all are born with a silver spoon in their mouth.”
Throughout history birth celebrations typically took place following the birth event. The pre-birth celebratory “Baby Shower,” so familiar today, only became commonplace following the World War II baby boom. These events served an economic function, intertwining fun games with providing practical gifts that would help support the parents’ care for their new family addition.
The introduction of a new child into the world is certainly a special occasion. Yet, the parents are also welcoming new, unchartered paths forward. How many times have we heard that childrearing does not come with instructional manuals? At least the baby shower helps alleviate some of the anxieties related to the immediate expenses, such as baby food, cribs, clothing, and diapers.
Imagine, however, if you brought a child into the world and those closest to you share the joy but lack the financial wherewithal to lend support and offer gifts. You are filled with nervousness about your new parenthood responsibilities. Additionally, imagine you don’t have the resources to provide your child with the basic life necessities. Sadly, many in our local communities are in this position.
This Sunday, March 21st, our congregation’s Ruth Circle ministry sponsors its annual Baby Shower to support mothers in need. You are encouraged to bring unwrapped baby clothing or gifts to our 9:15 AM (indoors) or 10:30 AM (outdoor drive-in) half-hour worship services. The gifts will then be donated to the Lutheran Social Services of New York’s New LIFE Center ministry in Uniondale. Please join us and celebrate the birth of all children!