Not long ago, I attended a birth as a doula. Shortly after the baby was born, I heard the doctor quietly say, “that was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.” I was touched by her heartfelt words. I was surprised to hear them knowing that she must have witnessed quite a few births. I wish I had thought to ask her to explain her thoughts about it. As I have pondered her comment, I thought of these words by Ina May Gaskin in Spiritual Midwifery:
“[This book] is spiritual because it is concerned with the sacrament of birth – the passage of a new soul into this plane of existence. This knowledge that each and every childbirth is a spiritual experience has been forgotten by too many people in the world today”.
How wonderful that people from many different walks of life see birth as a sacred, transformative life changing event. The definition of sacrament does refer to different rituals depending on the religion. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the Sacrament refers to an ordinance held weekly to commemorate the Savior’s teachings of the Last Supper. However, sacrament is also defined as something consecrated, possessing sacred character or mysterious significance; a sign, token or symbol; an oath or solemn pledge.
We go deeper into how birth is like a sacrament in this episode.
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