An Unusual Father’s Day Blessing

by Kathy on June 20, 2011 · 10 comments

in Abby, Bob, Change, Family, Holidays, Loss, Love

Yesterday morning towards the end of church the priest saying mass asked the fathers who were there to stand to receive a special Father’s Day Blessing. He asked that the rest of us extend our hands to join him in praying for the fathers in our parish community and those who were with as visitors.

As I extended my hand, listened and prayed for Bob and the other fathers in my life, including all those in our parish, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the blessing mentioned fathers who have lost babies to still birth, crib death and other children who didn’t live long.

Bob asked me later if I had heard the blessing, especially that specific part, as at the time I was out in the narthex (entrance/lobby area) with Abby who was antsy and had wanted to go “walking” as she calls it. I told Bob that I had and that I was moved when I heard it and also impressed that someone had thought to write those words and be so sensitive and compassionate to all the fathers in our church community, even those who have children that are no longer with us.

I asked Bob if he he appreciated hearing that part of the blessing, being the father of a baby girl that did not live long, and he said “yes.”  Bob doesn’t talk about our daughter Molly or the feelings he has related to her short life and death very often. However, I do think it was meaningful for him and other fathers who have lost children, especially babies, to be recognized specifically in the blessing, on what can be a bittersweet holiday for those fathers who are not able to spend the day with all of their children because one or more of them left this world too soon.

A side note/amusing story from when I was trying to participate in the blessing from a distance in the narthex with Abby… I had knelt down next to her and was trying to extend my hand as I prayed and the priest read the blessing. However, every time I went to do so, Abby wanted to give me a high five! I attempted to switch hands a few times and then realized that she thought we were playing a game! So I gave up on and decided to just walk around with her more and it was during that time that I heard the unusual and touching words in the blessing.

I often share here on my blog about how there are a lot of people in our world who I feel don’t try hard enough to be sensitive to and show compassion for those who have experienced infertility and/or lost a child, so it feels good to be able to share this story with you today, the day after Father’s Day, about people in our church community making an effort to be more inclusive and empathetic to many different kinds of fathers.

I send my (belated) love and gratitude to all the fathers who have touched my life over the years, especially my husband/my children’s daddy, my dad, my father-in-law, my brothers-in-law/children’s Godfathers and my uncles. I also send warm thoughts and prayers to all those who are still waiting and hoping to become fathers. Finally I am remembering my grandfathers and many other fathers who I loved and cared about that have gone before us and are always in my heart.

Update (7/6/11): I contacted our pastor awhile back to try to find out who wrote the blessing I heard in church on Father’s Day this year and to request a copy of it. He didn’t know who the author is, but promised to let me know if and when he finds out. However he was able to send me a copy of the wording, so I thought I would come back and share it with you here. As I told him after I read again recently, having only heard it once before, it is even more beautiful than I remembered:

Father’s Day Blessing

Loving God, we give you thanks for the many gifts you have given us;
the gift of life, the gift of those who love us and especially, today,
we thank you for the gift of our fathers.

We ask your blessing upon our fathers who gave us rules to live by, standards to
uphold, joys to cherish, faith to live by, hopes worth dreaming of and who blessed
our lives with their unselfish and unconditional love.

We ask your blessing upon our fathers
who are unable to be with us today.
May they know how much we love and care for them.

We ask your blessing upon adoptive fathers,
that they may always know their special role of being a true father,
a revelation of God’s love for their children.

We ask your blessing upon fathers who have lost children
through stillbirth, crib death, sickness, accident and tragedy, that they
may have your continuing strength and courage.

We remember our fathers who have died
and for the unique way they revealed for us your love.
We ask that you keep them in your care
until the time comes for us to join them in your Kingdom.

And we ask your blessing upon the fathers
standing here before us.

Let the example of their faith and love shine forth.

Give them the strength to live the
faithful and loving lives you call them to live.

Protect and guide them. Keep them in your care
and grant that their children may always honor them
with a spirit of profound respect.

We ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord. AMEN.



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A few “housekeeping” items related to my blog…

You may have noticed a new look here and you are not imagining it! After years of using an older Blogger template I decided to try a new and more versatile one. I have made some changes to my sidebar and I have also added a few new “pages” to my blog which you can get to by clicking on the new corresponding links on the navigation bar at the top of my blog (just below the title). So far there is an “About” page, which is a work in progress, and a “Contact” page. I will likely add more in the weeks to come and continue to update the information and links on my sidebar.

Someday I may try to design my own unique header for Four of a Kind or instead I might hire the talented team at Plaid House Designs to help me with this project, as I have been impressed with their work that I have seen on other blogs and websites. I do think eventually it would be cool to have a header that indicates what my blog is about through a more creative and attractive design.

Update (6/21/11): After I wrote this post my friend Dresden from Plaid House Designs was kind enough to make me the masthead now in the place where my old Blogger template header used to be. I love it and think that it is another great addition to my blog’s new look! I still intend to work with Dresden and Lindsay at Plaid House to develop my blog design and functionality more in the future. However, for now I am grateful to have this awesome and more professional looking masthead for Four of a Kind! Thank you Dresden! 🙂

Also I am excited to share that I recently applied and was invited to join the BlogHer Publishing Network! For a long time I was not interested in having any advertising on my blog, as I believed it was unnecessary and could be a distraction to my readers. However, after researching and understanding more about why many bloggers choose to include some ads on their websites, I decided to pursue a relationship with BlogHer. I believe that BlogHer is such a great resource for bloggers, especially women, and also a wonderful way for bloggers to network and connect. Though I have been a member of BlogHer since September 2008, I have recently started to get more involved there, reading and learning more about it.

Today is the first day that I was able to put the BlogHer Publishing Network “ad code” on my blog, so from now on you will see what I believe will be interesting and tasteful advertisements in the space located just above our family portrait here on Four of a Kind. You will also find some links below the ads to some other blogs/posts that BlogHer editors think that you, as my readers, may also want to check out and at times readers of other blogs will be able to follow such links from some of those blogs to read one of my posts here.

Thank you for visiting and for your support as I continue to develop Four of a Kind to better fit my vision and be user friendly for you, as my friends and blog readers. I hope that you and yours have a wonderful week as we officially begin the summer season!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 HereWeGoAJen June 20, 2011 at 1:57 pm

At one of our Mother's Day church prayers, the pastor asked all mothers to stand up and included those who wished to be mothers someday. (I can't remember if he included those who had lost children specifically, it was a long time ago.) I remember this specifically because I grinned while I watched the teenage girl in front of me bob up and down as she tried to decide whether to stand or not.

It's exciting that you are joining BlogHer's ads! Congratulations!

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2 Kir June 20, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Yea!!!! Your blog looks great, congratulations on all the GOOD STUFF happening here. 🙂

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3 It Is What It Is June 20, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Congrats on the new site and your affiliation with BlogHer.

So good to hear the fun stuff that's happening 🙂

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4 Lavender Luz June 20, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Loved your Father's Day story.

Like the new look, Kathy!

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5 Brad Lang June 20, 2011 at 6:33 pm

I love this post, it's lovely to read.

And yes, I was confused for a moment "what looks different?" was my thought, I'm glad you commented on that, lol.

Funny enough, I was just thinking of hiring Lindsay at Splat Design for the same thing (getting a custom blog header, lol) I'll have to check your link out for the people that you're talking about 🙂

PS – I've gone private today …

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6 loribeth July 3, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Great new look! : )

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7 Lori Lavender Luz June 12, 2012 at 3:28 pm

That blessing gets even better as time goes by. So compassionate and inclusive.

What a difference a year makes! Your blog has grown and changed in even more ways!

May Bob be multiply blessed this Father’s Day.
Lori Lavender Luz recently posted..Time Warp Tuesday: FatheringMy Profile

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