July 3, 2018
Baby Devotional is Taking Off in Ottawa
Abdu’l-Bahá, the son of Bahá’u’lláh and His appointed successor, said that there is nothing sweeter in the world of existence than prayer. How much sweeter can it get, then, when reciting prayers with precious little babies?
Over a year ago, two moms started a Facebook group with the intent of getting together with other new moms to say prayers and socialize. This group was called the Ottawa Baby Devotional and it brought new and not-so-new moms together from different Ottawa neighbourhoods. Prayers, writings, songs and stories were read for the little ones’ spiritual growth. Participant Jaleh Safaee said "We developed friendships and a sense of community with the parents, and the little ones had an opportunity to see and play with their friends. These devotional gatherings were open to everyone, regardless of religion, and we lovingly encouraged other friends to join in and host one in their own home, particularly since the first year of maternity/paternity leave provided time during the day for new parents to get together."
With the addition of a sweet little girl to one family, a mom who attended these gatherings decided to host a devotional in her own home on a regular basis. This same kind-hearted mom, however, sadly passed away from a sudden illness this past November. As a way to honour her dear soul, two friends met up for coffee and decided to continue her initiative. *
On the second Saturday
afternoon of each month, mothers, fathers and babies under the age of
two gather together to say prayers, sing songs, create a spiritual
atmosphere, build bonds of friendship and support one another. Although
the little ones are still too young to verbalize the words of the
prayers, they are learning to say "O
me, protect me, make of
me a shining lamp and a brilliant star. Thou art the mighty and the
Powerful" through hand motions and actions. In addition to
spiritual nourishment provided, these little ones are learning to
develop the quality of reverence, respect, peacefulness and
prayerfulness. Each month, the prayers and writings are focused on a
specific quality such as friendliness, love, joy and gentleness, among
others. This gathering takes place in Kanata, and
on average there are
anywhere from six to14 people in attendance.