From the Ancestors: A Blessing for Your Body

This is a blessing I wrote for my reflection on “Advent for Every Body,” an aural devotional from Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (Portland). While the blessings in Expecting Emmanuel are written in the voices of individual women (and the community of weeping mothers), this blessing is in the voice of the full line of women connected to Jesus–a communal blessing for our bodies in this season when we celebrate the embodiment of God.

This is a photo of me with my grandmother, Ruth. She is one of the women of my genealogy.

From the Ancestors: A Blessing for Your Body

You may be unhappy with your body right now:
Noticing a place (or two or three) of pain,
Frustrated with a task it will not do,
Disappointed by its failures,
Overwhelmed by its needs.

You may be dissatisfied with your body:
Its size,
Its shape,
Its abilities,
Its inconveniences.

Some people may try to attach shame to your body:
For the things that come out of it,
The things that have gone into it,
For what your body has done
and what has been done to it—to you.

But remember:
Though your body may feel like a liability,
It is also your power.
Though people may dishonor your body,
It is God’s sacred creation.
Though our bodies are mortal,
They create life in the world that continues beyond us.

And so we offer this blessing for your body:
May you relish its pleasures;
May you appreciate its power;
May you marvel at its abilities;
May you find peace with its limitations;
May you claim its sacredness
And live each day with gratitude
for all of who God has created you to be.

Amen.

2 thoughts on “From the Ancestors: A Blessing for Your Body

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I’m in recovery from an eating disorder and pregnant with my first baby (5 months along), and I have been having trouble with my body through this experience. Thank you.

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    • Darby, I pray many blessings for you, your body, and your baby. I feel like our culture has a myth of the “glowing pregnant woman” which can add to the struggle for those of us who have challenges with our bodies during pregnancy. Peace and health to you.

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