Spiritual Disciplines for Orthodox Christian Couples Desiring to Conceive of a Child
Petitioning God as individuals, as a couple, or as His Bride, the Church, is a sacred and blessed undertaking. Our hope remains, in each and every instance, that God hears our fervent prayer. And, we pray that each and every petition is unto our salvation!
When an Orthodox Christian couple is petitioning God to conceive, both the husband and the wife ought to be living disciplined and prayerful lives. This includes:
- Regularly attending the Divine Services, most notably the Divine Liturgy.
- Following the prescribed fast of the Church and frequently receiving the Holy Eucharist with the blessing of his/her spiritual father.
- Celebrating the Blessing of Water Service in the home with clergy.
- Participating regularly in Holy Confession.
- Celebrating and being anointed with Holy Unction.
Additionally, a couple may:
- Request Holy Oil and Holy Water from our Parish for personal devotion.
- Submit names to be included in Divine Services at our Parish and at the Skete of Saint Anna.
- Seek the Intercessions of Ss Joachim & Anna formally in prayer.
- Follow a more defined prayerful discipline established by the Skete of Saint Anna.
To schedule a visit to our Parish to venerate the Holy Relics of Ss. Joachim and Anna, to submit a prayer request, to receive a blessed icon of Ss. Joachim and Anna, Holy Oil and Holy Water, or to learn of the Prayer Discipline of the Skete, please contact the Church Office at 916.772.9372.
A Prayer for an Expecting Mother
In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ our God,
the Source of life and immortality,
we bow before You at this hour giving thanks to You, for in my marriage, You have blessed me to be a recipient of Your manifold blessings. And it was You who did instruct us O Master to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth.
We thank You O Lord and pray:
Bless the fruit of my womb that You have entrusted unto me; favor the child and animate it by Your Holy Spirit;
let it grow a healthy and pure body, sound mind and well-formed limbs.
And in sanctifying the infant’s body, mind, and heart, grant the child that is to be born an intelligent soul; establish it in love and reverence for You.
We beseech You Heavenly Father to provide this unborn child with a faithful angel, a guardian of soul and body to vouchsafe for it.
Protect, keep, strengthen, and shelter the infant in my womb until the hour of its birth and give to both - the child and me, - abundant life and health.
O Lord Jesus Christ, into Your Almighty and paternal hands do we [NAMES OF PARENTS] entrust this pregnancy. Place upon me, Your handmaiden, the right hand of Your grace, and through Your Holy Spirit sanctify the child that I will bear; renewing it unto life everlasting, in order that this infant may be a communicant of Your Heavenly Kingdom.
Furthermore O All-Merciful Lord our God,
look down and protect me, Your handmaiden, from every fear and from the evil spirits that seek to destroy the work of Your hands.
And when my hour and time has come, support me by Your abundant Grace.
Lighten my infirmity in the time of my travail, granting me fortitude and strength for birth giving, hastening it with by Your Almighty help.
For this is Your glorious creation,
the power of Your omnipotence,
the work of Your Grace and tender-heartedness.
Holy Ancestors of the Lord, Saints Joachim and Anna,
Most blessed Theotokos, the Mother of our Savior, Jesus Christ,
at this very hour I implore you to pray to Your grandson and Son, for me, your handmaiden.
Intercede on my behalf that our Lord may lighten for me this season while I am with child, ease the burden of my heaviness, and bestow His immeasurable blessings upon the child to which I will give birth.
Having no other help than Christ our God
and no greater hope for intercession than you Ss. Joachim and Anna and Most Holy Theotokos
I pray for your protection.
With your intercessory prayers on my behalf,
I give glory and thanksgiving unto the Creator of all things –
Father Son and Holy Spirit, now and always, and unto the ages of ages.
for Couples Who Desire to Conceive of a Child
The Apolytikion of the Dormition of Saint Anna
O godly-minded Anna, you did give birth unto God’s pure Mother
who conceived Him Who is our Life.
Wherefore, You have now passed with joy to your heavenly rest,
wherein is the abode of them that rejoice in glory;
and you ask forgiveness of sins for them that honor you with love, O ever-blessed one.
The Apolytikion of Ss. Joachim and Anna
We celebrate the memory of Your holy Ancestors, O Lord, and through them we beseech You to save our Souls.
Festal Hymns of Saint Anna, the Ancestor of God
deliver those who earnestly seek your intercession
from all affliction and suffering;
for as the inspired ancestor of the Pantokrator
you can bring about all that you wish.
Being yourself full of grace, O Godly One,
bestow your favor on those who in steadfast faith sing your praises
and venerate you fervently, and render them all worthy of the divine dispensation.
Festal Hymns of Ss. Joachim and Anna
To Christ’s ancestors let us cry out most piously,
All we who keep sacred feast,
Asking for their intercessions;
For they have received at God’s throne
Boldness and true grace divine
To have mercy upon us;
For they gave birth wondrously
To the pure Ever-virgin;
Therefore, deliver our souls from every grief,
Blest Joachim and wise Anna, true Saints of God.
We ask of Saints Anna and Joachim,
The godly-wise couple,
Who did marvelously give birth
To her who is far greater than the angels,
To ever pray to our Saviour in our behalf.
Since thy prayer was heard by God
When thou wast barren and full of grief,
Do thou entreat Him, O righteous Anna,
For those women who are without child.