“As your mothers and sisters in Christ, we are here to support you and bless you this day.”
Almost a year ago, my daughter sat in a camping chair on a beach wrapped in a towel, still damp with the water of the San Francisco Bay. It was chilly, but women from our ward and neighboring wards and a couple of family members surrounded her, shielding her from the wind, while I gave her a “women’s blessing” as part of her baptismal program.
I had wanted a more prominent role in her baptism than I had in her baby blessing. After discussion with my husband, we asked our daughter, “Would you like a women’s blessing or a parent blessing after your confirmation?” She said, “A women’s blessing,” though I don’t know if she knew exactly what that meant. Admittedly, I didn’t fully know either.
At our tithing settlement the previous December, I asked our bishop what sort of arrangements we needed to have for the baptism. He said all he needed to do was approve the program. A couple of weeks ahead of the baptism, I sent him a copy of our proposed program, with a women’s blessing listed after the confirmation. Shortly I received a simple response that the program was approved. I invited every woman coming to the baptism to participate. I wanted my daughter supported by all the important women in her life.
This was not the first blessing I had been a part of. I’ve participated in group women’s blessings for women needing comfort, where if anyone in the circle feels inspired they can add a few words. I have blessed my children when they were sick and my husband and I have done intimate 2-person naming blessings for our babies.
But it was my first public blessing and I was nervous, partly that I wouldn’t know what to say but mostly that no one would join me in the circle. After a full circle of men for her confirmation, I was afraid that none of the women would join in.
But my ward came out and came through for me and I am so grateful to them. We blessed her to know we supported her in her life journey and to find joy in it. The women who surrounded her are her Primary teachers, her future Young Women leaders. It was so meaningful that the women who do and will support her in life were able to do so on her baptism day. I hope she’ll never forget it.