ESSAYS

the joy and relief of birth

Joy, Meet Relief

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | April 7, 2015

Can you hear it in their voices? Once you cut through the baffled wonder and divide the nagging disbelief and set aside the stuttering astonishment, there it is: relief. He is risen. He is risen? He is risen! It’s not a matter of simple punctuation. There are a thousand reactions to surprising news, and the Gospels cover nearly every one. Mary…

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baby's first holy week

Baby’s First Holy Week

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | April 1, 2015

Sweet boy, here we are. In the holiest of weeks. It all started on Palm Sunday. You solemnly gumming the long green palm in your father’s hands. Your brothers waving their palms wildly around the air (bonus points for whacking a sibling in the eye). Me watching all of you, half wondering why we bother to bring…

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Lent and parenting

Lent: What We Need Is Here

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | February 18, 2015

And we pray, not  for new earth or heaven, but to be  quiet in heart, and in eye  clear. What we need is here.  – from “The Wild Geese” by Wendell Berry  Deep breath. Eyes closed. Flying leap. Each new Lent feels like this. Jumping into the unknown. Flinging ourselves into the arms of the divine.…

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labor's stages like triduum

Labor’s Stages: A Triduum

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | April 24, 2014

A journey of four days, each unique. Holy Week reveals itself in new shades every year, shadows of dark and light. It pushes through the broken, cold dirt of Lent’s long winter with a fresh green curl of hope. With only a few short weeks to go before baby’s birth, I see these feasts through a new slant. Each…

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motherhood and mortality

Morbid? Motherhood & Mortality

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | March 18, 2014

“Mommy, I don’t want to die.” His big blue eyes stare up at me, full of—what? Worry? Seriousness? Wonder? We’ve been revisiting this conversation for months, variations on a theme: Mommy, I don’t want to go to be with God. Mommy, I want to live to be 100. Mommy, I don’t want you to die.…

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prayers for birth: Spirit as intercessor

Prayers for Childbirth: Spirit as Intercessor and Groaner

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | July 15, 2011

The Holy Spirit can be hard to pin down. God’s presence with us, everywhere and always, sure. But many of us wonder what that means, what that looks like. Flames of fire? Speaking in tongues? Here’s what Scripture has to say, which speaks to the Spirit’s presence during labor: Brothers and sisters: The Spirit comes…

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prayers for birth: Christ as companion

Prayers for Childbirth: Christ as Companion

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | July 12, 2011

The prayer that got me through the toughest part of my labor with my first baby was—quite unexpectedly—part of the prayer of the breastplate of St. Patrick. This was a prayer that I was familiar with but never felt any particular affinity for. Yes, it was a lovely prayer; yes, it came from my Irish…

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prayers for birth

Prayers for Childbirth: God as Midwife

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | July 11, 2011

When I was pregnant with my first son, my newly-graduated-from-theological-school self wanted to compile a journal of prayers for childbirth. Given my fear of the pain and the unknown that lay ahead of me, I was convinced that having prayers to accompany me through labor and birth would keep me calm, centered, and cool. Then…

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