AxiosOrthodoxal news and traditionsCan pregnant women go to the temple?

Can pregnant women go to the temple?

Despite the fact that our people adopted the Orthodox faith more than a thousand years ago, paganism and its prejudices are firmly held in the minds of people.  And, unfortunately, all sorts of superstitions appear among believers, one of them says: "pregnant women should not go to church."  But it is better to clarify, is there a need for women in the position of attending divine services?  Let's try to figure it out, does the Orthodox Church really leave expectant mothers without spiritual care?

God's gift
 
 
The birth of a child since the time of the Old Testament was perceived as a blessing of God on the family.  Many biblical righteous people prayed in the hope of receiving children from the Lord, in gratitude for what they asked, tried to consecrate their firstborn to God.  Suffice it to recall the righteous Anna, who gave her little son to church obedience in the church, in the future the prophet Samuel (1 Sam. 1:28) or the holy righteous Godfathers Joachim and Anna, who brought the Most Holy Virgin to the high priest at the age of three, and many others  ...
 
Where did the holy people have such a desire to give their children to God?  All because they knew the Lord gives all children.  He, as the Creator, at the moment of conception spiritualizes man, and only to Him we owe our existence.
 
From this it follows that pregnancy is a gift from God.  The expectant mother should understand that it was the Lord who entrusted her to carry a new life under her heart.  And she is only an instrument in the hands of the Heavenly Father in the work of creation.
 
 
 
Temple as the first upbringing of a child
 
 
It is interesting to recall one incident from the life of St. Sergius of Radonezh.  The mother of the saint, her name was Maria, while still pregnant, came to the church for one of the Sunday services.  She stood in the vestibule, and when they began to read the Gospel, the child in the womb cried out, which of course was impossible.  The same thing was repeated during the singing of the cherubic song, and to the exclamation of the priest: "Holy to the saints!"  - the baby screamed so hard that everyone in the temple heard it.
 
From such a sign, Mary almost fell to the ground with great fear and, seized with trembling, began to cry.  And after the liturgy, other women began to look around the church for a child who was screaming, in bewilderment they began asking her if she was carrying a baby "in her bosom."
 
The saint's mother understood that it was a miracle from the Lord, after such an event, she kept herself from all impurity, ate only vegetables and bread, drank water alone, and all the time prayed for her child.
 
We see that the Lord chose some of His saints from the mother's womb, but often such saints were born from no less holy parents who led a pious lifestyle.  And they began raising their children even before their birth.
 
It is no secret that the baby, being under the mother's heart, perceives everything that his mother sees, feels, accepts.  And of course, what the parents receive in the church goes to the child.  This also applies to church singing, reading, and most importantly grace.
 
 
Can pregnant women partake of the Mysteries of Christ?
 
 
First of all, this concerns Communion, pregnant women should more often approach the Holy Chalice.  This is probably the first argument against those who say that pregnant women are not allowed in church, because believers cannot live without the Eucharist.
 
Practice shows that expectant mothers, who often receive communion, endure the period of their "non-idleness" more easily, and they often have fewer problems with childbirth.  But most importantly, they pass on to their children this grace of the Holy Mysteries, which preserves them and gives them the strength of spiritual growth.  And even if such children sometimes depart from the Church in their youth, in a more mature age they begin to lead a church life.
 
Of course, the Church facilitates the rules for preparing for Communion, pregnant women may not fulfill the measures of fasting that are needed before communion, for this you need to ask the priest's blessing.  But nevertheless, he will tune in to the acceptance of the Body and Blood of Christ - it is necessary, if there is an opportunity to read at least a little the rule for communion, this can be done while sitting.  You can also sit at the service, some take a folding chair with them for convenience.  All these rules apply to nursing women.
 
 
Other practical notes for pregnant women

 
 
Many people discourage expectant mothers from going to church services, and such dangerous advice comes from silly superstitions, like a woman is considered unclean.  But it is enough to remember that in many churches there is even an icon of the Most Holy Theotokos "Assistant in Childbirth", before which they pray for a successful outcome of pregnancy.
 
There are special ranks in the Trebnik that directly relate to young mothers and their children: prayers on their birthday, on the eighth day, when the name is given, and on the fortieth day.  You can ask a priest for blessings before childbirth, this often helps to endure them easier.
 
Each cleric of the temple will confirm that children who participate in the sacraments from birth, they well perceive the church atmosphere and do not throw tantrums in front of the Holy Chalice, and are not afraid of bearded priests.
 
Also, pregnant women need to know that they cannot go to church for the first forty days after childbirth, and also after a miscarriage.  This is due to natural processes in a woman's body.
 
The child is usually baptized after or on the fortieth day, this has its advantages, before that the baby will already noticeably get stronger.  If there is a threat to the child's life, of course, you need to baptize immediately, there is even the rite of a brief Baptism.  And even if you need to baptize right away, if there is no priest nearby, the mother herself or another baptized person can do it.  But who knows the formula of the sacrament: “The servant of God (name) is baptized, in the name of the Father, Amen;  and the Son, Amen;  and the Holy Spirit, Amen, ”and sprinkle with water three times, if possible, baptismal.
 
The best assistant in preparing for the christening of a child will be our online store - Axios, here you can purchase the entire assortment for the sacrament, from a cross and a baptismal shirt to personalized icons, just choose in the product catalog.
 
 
Outcome
 
 
The soul of a child begins its existence at the moment of conception, therefore, the entire pregnancy a woman carries under her heart that which belongs not only to her, but also to God.  This means that there is nothing more natural than entrusting God with taking care of the child's soul.
 
The Orthodox Church does not consider pregnancy to be some kind of uncleanness before God, on the contrary, expecting a child is a blessing of the Lord.  But nowadays, various superstitions are very common, forbidding women in a position to attend church services in the temple.  You don't need to pay any attention to them, because our creed says if a woman feels good, there are no obstacles to go to church, but rather it can and should be done.  Only in the temple can a person receive the grace of the Sacrament and begin to spiritually educate a child.
 
The dilemma of believing parents: “to go to church or not” does not exist, if some conviction is holding the expectant mother from the temple, then she needs to think about how much spiritual life she leads.  The main desire.

 




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