Funerals for miscarriages


#1

On another site, the following question was asked:

Sue wrote: “Are you also aware that if a woman has a miscarriage no funeral is warranted (in the Catholic Church)? So when is it considered a death of a child if you are not to mourn it? Miscarriages usually occur in the first trimester.”

I’d like to get a quick response in. It’s really the statement concerning the funeral being warranted and then the question of death and mourning. Any suggestions?


#2

I believe that is not accurate. She should check with her diocese because I think there maybe a rite of memorial for miscarriages.


#3

A funeral is not strictly required for anyone, and that would apply to miscarried children. However, there is no prohibition against holding a funeral for such a child.


#4

A baby who dies from a miscarriage can be given any of the funeral rites for an unbaptized child.

This website contains some pastoral guidelines from the archdiocese of Boston:
bostoncatholic.org/Offices-And-Services/Office-Detail.aspx?id=12540&pid=464

2. What other rites can be used with parents of deceased, stillborn or miscarried unbaptized infants?

Pastoral ministers will find many resources in the Order of Christian Funerals (OCF) Part II “Funeral Rites for Children.” Each prayer for a dead child also offers an alternative for a child who died before receiving baptism. Even if the child’s body is not present, the use of readings and prayer from the OCF can be very comforting to the family of a deceased infant.
Hospital chaplains and parish priests testify to the effectiveness of the use of the “Order for Blessing of Parents after a Miscarriage” in the case of stillborn or miscarried babies. If the body of the child is present, often the ceremonies of naming and signing the child from the Rite of Baptism can be consoling when celebrated together with this blessing. (Books of Blessings IX p. 86)
Effective pastoral presence and sympathetic words are at the heart of sound pastoral care. But we must recall that Catholics in grief seek and find in the Church’s liturgical rites an assurance of their child’s presence with God. We owe it to them to respond as fully as possible.


closed #5

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