Monday, 15 October 2012

Service of Prayer for Babies who Die before Birth

This liturgy is designed to help parents and ministers to arrange a service of Prayer and remembrance for a baby who has died before birth, especially where the provision of a funeral is not possible or appropriate. It might also be used as the basis for an anniversary service or a service of annual remembrance.

It is recommended that the families are involved in the choosing of music, hymns and poetry used; some options are included to help where needed. Parents, grandparents or siblings might like to read a letter to their baby; this can be a great way of helping the healing process to start.


GATHERING
We have come together to worship God, to thank Him for His love and to remember the short life of N; to share or grief and to commend N to the eternal care of God.

OPENING HYMN OR MUSIC
Sung whilst the parents are Lighting a Candle representing the life of their baby N.

OPENING PRAYER
Loving God
Who brought us to birth and in whose arms we die,
In our shock and grief, contain and comfort us.
Trusting in Jesus,
who gathered children into his arms and blessed them;
we now commend our children into your love.
Amen.

FIRST READING
Isaiah 49: 13-16, 20, 23
Shout for joy, you heavens, exult, you earth! You mountains, break into happy cries! For the Lord consoles his people and takes pity on those who are afflicted. For Zion was saying "The Lord has abandoned me, the Lord has forgotten me". But does a woman forget her baby at the breast, or fail to cherish the child of her womb? Yet even if these forget, I will never forget you. See I have carved you on the palms of my hands. Once more they will speak in your hearing; those children you thought were lost. You shall know that I am the Lord and that those who hope in me will not be put to shame.

PSALM
Psalm 139: 13-18
Lord, you created my inmost self, knit me together in my mother's womb. For so many marvels I thank you; a wonder am I and all your works are wonderful. You knew me through and through, my being held no secrets from you, when I was being formed in secret, textured in the depths of the womb. Your eyes could see my embryo, in your book all my days were inscribed, every one that is fixed is there. How hard for me to grasp your thoughts, how many, God there are. If I could count them, they are more than the grains of sand; if I come to an end, I am still with you.

GOSPEL
Mark 10:13:16
"People were bringing little children to Jesus, for him to touch them. The disciples turned them away, but when Jesus saw this he was indignant and said to them, "Let the little children come to me; do not stop them, for it is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs. I tell you solemnly, anyone who does not welcome the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it". Then he put his arms around them, laid his hands on them and gave them his blessing.

HOMILY

PRAYERS
Father we pray for N's parents who have lost their dreams and hopes. May the memories of their baby N bring them consolation, love and healing at this time.
Lord, hear us
Lord, faithfully hear us

Father we pray for N's brother(s) and sister(s). Help them to live and grow in peace knowing that N is loving them and watching over them.
Lord, hear us
Lord, faithfully hear us

Father we pray for grandparents who mourn the death of their grandchild N. Comfort them and give them your love.
Lord, hear us
Lord, faithfully hear us

Father we pray for the medical professionals who cared for N and their family. Give them strength to continue their work.
Lord, hear us
Lord, faithfully hear us

Father we pray with thanks for family and friends who support this family.
Lord, hear us
Lord, faithfully hear us

Our father
Who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day
Our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us
Lead us not into reputation
But deliver us from evil
For thine is the kingdom
The power and the glory
Forever and ever
Amen

SECOND HYMN, MUSIC OR POEM

COMMENDATION
God of compassion
You make nothing in vain
And we love all that you have created;
We commend to you baby N
whose parents poured out such great love
and cherished hopes and dreams.
Great them the assurance that their child
Though not seen by us, is seen and known by you,
And will share the risen life of you Son Jesus Christ.
Amen

CONCLUDING PRAYER AND BLESSING
May the love of God and the piece of the Lord Jesus Christ
Bless and console you
And all who love N
This day and forever more
Amen

CLOSING HYMN OR MUSIC
Whilst the lit candle is given to the parents to take home in remembrance of their baby N.


For resources which support this liturgy, including poems, songs and hymns;
please visit Resources for Babyloss Services.

http://llmcalling.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/resources-for-babyloss-services.html

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

how come no one has left a comment on this? what an amazing resource. can we use it freely?

Emma Major said...

absolutely. I've written it in the hope that it is used and provides comfort for families. God bless.

Cypress Swamp Ranch said...

Oh my - just saw this now. Our family lost a little perfect grandson to stillbirth on January 11, 2013. Wish we had seen this then and would love to have it for his stillbirth anniversaries. How precious and meaningful!