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Catholic Prayer: Book of Blessings: Blessing of Parents After a Miscarriage

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279 In times of death and grief the Christian turns to the Lord for consolation and strength. This is especially true when a child dies before birth. This blessing is provided to assist the parents in their grief and console them with the blessing of God.

280 The minister should be attentive to the needs of the parents and other family members and to this end the introduction to the Order of Christian Funerals, Part II: Funeral Rites For Children will be helpful.

281 These orders may be used by a priest or a deacon, and also by a layperson, who follows the rites and prayers designated for a lay minister.

Prayer:

A. ORDER OF BLESSING

INTRODUCTORY RITES

282 When the community has gathered, a suitable song may be sung. The minister says: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

All make the sign of the cross and reply: Amen.

283 A minister who is a priest or deacon greets those present in the following or other suitable words, taken mainly from sacred Scripture. May the Father of mercies, the God of all consolation, be with you all.

And all reply: And also with you.

284 A lay minister greets those present in the following words: Let us praise the Father of mercies, the God of all consolation. Blessed be God for ever.

R. Blessed be God for ever.

285 In the following or similar words, the minister prepares those present for 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. N. and N., as we mourn the death of your child we place ourselves in the hands of God and ask for strength, for healing, and for love.

READING OF THE WORD OF GOD

286 A reader, another person present, or the minister reads a text of sacred Scripture. Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the book of Lamentations:

3:17-26 Hope in the Lord. 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. The thought of my homeless poverty is wormwood and gall; Remembering it over and over leaves my soul downcast within me. 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 will I hope in him. Good is the LORD to one who waits for him, to the soul that seeks him; It is good to hope in silence for the saving help of the LORD.

287 Or: Isaiah 49:8-13--In a time of favor I answer you, on the day of salvation I help you. Romans 8:18-27--In hope we were saved. Romans 8:26-31--If God is for us, who can be against us? Colossians 1:9-12--We have been praying for you unceasingly. Hebrews 5:7-10--Christ intercedes for us. Luke 22:39-46--Agony in the garden.

288 As circumstances suggest, one of the following responsorial psalms may be sung, or some other suitable song.

R. To you, 0 Lord, I lift up my soul.

Psalm 25 Your ways, 0 LORD, make known to me; teach me your paths, Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior, and for you I wait all the day. R.

Remember that your compassion, O LORD, and your kindness are from of old. The sins of my youth and my frailties remember not; in your kindness remember me because of your goodness, O LORD. R.

Look toward me, and have pity on me, for I am alone and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart, and bring me out of my distress. R.

Preserve my life, and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, because I wait for you, O LORD. R.

Psalm 143:1, 5-6, 8, 10 R. (v. 1) 0 Lord, hear my prayer.

289 As circumstances suggest, the minister may give those present a brief explanation of the biblical text, so that they may understand through faith the meaning of the celebration.

INTERCESSIONS

290 The intercessions are then said. The minister introduces them and an assisting minister or one of those present announces the intentions. From the following those best suited to the occasion may be used or adapted, or other intentions that apply to the particular circumstances may be composed.

The minister says:

Let us pray to God who throughout the ages has heard the cries of parents.

R. Lord, hear our prayer.

Assisting minister: For N. and N., who know the pain of grief, that they may be comforted, we pray. R.

Assisting minister: For this family, that it may find new hope in the midst of suffering, we pray. R.

Assisting minister: For these parents, that they may learn from the example of Mary, who grieved by the cross of her Son, we pray. R.

Assisting minister: For all who have suffered the loss of a child, that Christ may be their support, we pray. R.

291 After the intercessions the minister, in the following or similar words, invites all present to sing or say the Lord's Prayer. Let us pray to the God of consolation and hope, as Christ has taught us:

All: Our Father . . .

PRAYER OF BLESSING

292 A minister who is a priest or deacon says the prayer of blessing with hands outstretched over the parents; a lay minister says the prayer with hands joined.

Compassionate God, soothe the hearts of N. and N., and grant that through the prayers of Mary, who grieved by the cross of her Son, you may enlighten their faith, give hope to their hearts, and peace to their lives.

Lord, grant mercy to all the members of this family and comfort them with the hope that one day we will all live with you, with your Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever.

R. Amen.

293 Or:

Lord, God of all creation we bless and thank you for your tender care. Receive this life you created in love and comfort your faithful people in their time of loss with the assurance of your unfailing mercy.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

As circumstances suggest, the minister in silence may sprinkle the parents with holy water.

CONCLUDING RITE

294 A minister who is a priest or deacon concludes the rite by saying: May God be with you in your sorrow, and give you light and peace. R. Amen.

May God raise you up from your grief. R. Amen.

May God grant you encouragement and strength to accept his will. R. Amen.

Then he blesses all present. And may almighty God bless you all, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit. R. Amen.

295 A lay minister concludes the rite by signing himself or herself with the sign of the cross and saying: May God give us peace in our sorrow, consolation in our grief, and strength to accept his will in all things. R. Amen.

296 It is preferable to end the celebration with a suitable song.

B. SHORTER RITE

297 All make the sign of the cross as the minister says: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All reply: Who made heaven and earth.

298 One of those present or the minister reads a text of sacred Scripture, for example: Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the book of Lamentations:

3:17-26 Hope in the Lord. 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. The thought of my homeless poverty is wormwood and gall; Remembering it over and over leaves my soul downcast within me. 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 will I hope in him. Good is the LORD to one who waits for him, to the soul that seeks him; It is good to hope in silence for the saving help of the LORD.

299 Or: Romans 8:26-31--If God is for us, who can be against us? Colossians 1:9-12--We have been praying for you unceasingly.

300 A minister who is a priest or deacon says the prayer of blessing with hands outstretched over the parents; a lay minister says the prayer with hands joined.

Compassionate God, soothe the hearts of N. and N., and grant that through the prayers of Mary, who grieved by the cross of her Son, you may enlighten their faith, give hope to their hearts, and peace to their lives.

Lord, grant mercy to all the members of this family and comfort them with the hope that one day we will all live with you, with your Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever.

R. Amen.

301 Or:

Lord, God of all creation, we bless and thank you for your tender care. Receive this life you created in love and comfort your faithful people in their time of loss with the assurance of your unfailing mercy.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

Prayer Source: Book of Blessings by Prepared by International Commission on English in the Liturgy A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops' Conferences, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1989
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