The Forty Day baby dedication service is a unique and beautiful tradition that is practiced throughout the Orthodox Christian world. It consists of prayers of thanksgiving for the safe delivery of a mother and a child. The priest asks for God to bless the mother, who has been absent from the sacramental life of the church for forty days, and formally presents the newborn child to the church family for the first time by bringing the infant into the sanctuary before the altar.
During those 40 days after childbirth is believed to be the most intimately important time for a mother and child to bond. That time is allotted to give both mother and child to rest and recuperate after which time, together they come to the Church for prayer and blessing. Additionally, the child is very susceptible to getting sick and so it is recommended that the child not go anywhere and so the the first place the new born goes is the house of the Lord.
The blessing may be done on the fortieth day of the child’s birth or on the Sunday nearest to the fortieth day. Both the father and the mother must be present for the fortieth day blessing.
In imitation of Christ’s fortieth day blessing (Luke 2:22-38), the parents of the new born bring the baby to the church in order for the child to be dedicated to the Lord. The parents become a symbol of the Virgin Mary and Joseph, while the priest symbolizes Simeon, who held Christ in his arms at the time of the presentation.
Please call the church office at (773) 637-1711 to schedule your baby’s presentation service or show up on Sunday.