Memorial Mass remembers unborn
By JOANNE FOX, Globe editor
The loss of a baby prior to, or immediately following, birth has a special sadness of its own.
To address that loss, a Memorial Mass in remembrance of infants who died before birth will be held at 7 p.m. March 25 at Cathedral of the Epiphany, Sioux City. Bishop Walker Nickless will celebrate the Mass.
This is the fourth year of this special Mass which is held annually in honor of all children who died before baptism due to miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, abortion and other before-birth fatalities.
According to Justin Frato, assistant director of adult catechesis and family life for the diocese, although we pray for the deceased at every Mass, a special service was deemed necessary for those who have lost a child before it had a chance to live.
“This is a Memorial Mass tailored for those grieving from the loss of a child before birth,” he said.
This Mass will be a bit different than a typical service, Frato clarified.
“We will be reading the names of each of the babies and inviting parents up to receive a certificate of life as well as a rose and a prayer card,” he said. “They will also light a candle to represent each child they have lost.”
Frato pointed out this liturgy allows individuals to share their grief with others.
“This Mass has been a good opportunity for those who have lost children in this way to grieve and experience healing and consolation,” he said. “It is also a chance for the church to publicly affirm the dignity and personhood of these children.”
Families are encouraged to participate in the Mass by submitting the names of their lost children which will then be read aloud following the homily.
Following Mass, there will be a light reception in the cathedral parish hall.
Those wishing to be included are asked to contact the Office of New Evangelization at (712) 233-7530 or visit www.scdiocese.org/memorialmass.
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