(image of Saint Gerard Majella, patron of unborn children)
My Lord, the baby is dead!
Why, my Lord—dare I ask why? It will not hear the whisper of the wind or see the beauty of its parents’ face—it will not see the beauty of Your creation or the flame of a sunrise. Why, my Lord?
“Why, My child—do you ask ‘why’? Well, I will tell you why.
You see, the child lives. Instead of the wind he hears the sound of angels singing before My throne. Instead of the beauty that passes he sees everlasting Beauty—he sees My face. He was created and lived a short time so the image of his parents imprinted on his face may stand before Me as their personal intercessor. He knows secrets of heaven unknown to men on earth. He laughs with a special joy that only the innocent possess. My ways are not the ways of man. I create for My Kingdom and each creature fills a place in that Kingdom that could not be filled by another. He was created for My joy and his parents’ merits. He has never seen pain or sin. He has never felt hunger or pain. I breathed a soul into a seed, made it grow and called it forth.”
I am humbled before you, my Lord, for questioning Your wisdom, goodness, and love. I speak as a fool—forgive me. I acknowledge Your sovereign rights over life and death. I thank You for the life that began for so short a time to enjoy so long an Eternity.
-- Mother M. Angelica
Blessing of Parents after a Miscarriage
When a baby dies before birth, the parents may seek the prayers of the Church. A priest, deacon, or lay minister of the parish, or a member of the family may lead this blessing.
Make the sign of the cross.
The leader begins: Let us praise the Father of mercies, the God of all consolation. Blessed be God for ever.
All respond: Blessed be God for ever.
The leader may use these or similar words to introduce the blessing:
For those who trust in God,
in the pain of sorrow there is consolation,
in the face of despair there is hope,
in the midst of death there is life.
(Name) and (Name), as we mourn the death of your child,
we place ourselves in the hands of God and ask strength, for healing, and for love.
Then the Scripture is read:
Listen to the words of the book of Lamentations:
My soul is deprived of peace,
I have forgotten what happiness is;
I tell myself my future is lost,
all that I hoped for from the Lord.
But I will call this to mind,
as my reason to have hope:
The favors of the Lord are not exhausted,
his mercies are not spent;
They are renewed each morning,
so great is his faithfulness.
My portion is the Lord, says my soul;
therefore I will hope in him.
-- Lamentations 3:17-18, 21-24
The reader concludes: The Word of the Lord.
All respond: Thanks be to God.
After a time of silence, all join in the prayers of intercession.
These conclude with the Lord's Prayer.
Then the leader may invite all to extend their hands over the parents in blessing.
Father and Creator,
in whom all life and death find meaning,
we bless you at all times,
especially when we have need of your consolation.
N. and N. entrust to your care a life conceived in love.
May your blessing come upon them now.
Remove all anxiety from their minds
and strengthen this love
so that they may have peace in their hearts and home.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
All respond: Amen.
All make the sign of the cross as the leader concludes: May the almighty and merciful God bless and protect us, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
All respond: Amen.