October 15: Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day
October marks Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, with October 15 a special day to remember all those who have lost babies and infants, whether through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, still birth or death of an infant.
Loss of a child, whether in the womb or after birth, is an incredibly painful experience. 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, so many people in society and in our churches have experienced this grief personally. We have pulled together some resources to help churches acknowledge this day, and we hope that in doing so we can break the silence around miscarriage and infant loss, and bring comfort to those who grieve.
Please feel free to use any of these resources as they are, or adapt them to your needs. You can download the whole package here.
If you want to go deeper and hold a Hannah Service for those grieving pregnancy and infant loss, here is a useful guide written by one of Rinnah’s founders, Captain Laura Van Schaick.
Ally Prayer for Those Who Have Experienced Miscarriage or Infant Loss
Leader: October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
Response: That one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage or infant loss.
Leader: We grieve
Response: With those who have experienced the loss of a child. Your loss is real. Your grief is valid. Your baby matters.
Leader: We affirm
Response: That you are still a parent, even if you have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal loss, or SIDS.
Leader: We give thanks
Response: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, (2 Cor 1:3)
Leader: We pray
Response: God of all comfort, draw close to those who have experienced a miscarriage or loss of an infant. We pray for your peace to overflow in their hearts today. Amen.
Responsive Prayer, written by Courtney Rose:
Leader: God, you are like a mother hen who draws her chicks close to her side. You protect them with your wing. You provide safety, protection, and warmth.
Response: It is in the safety of your wing that we expose ourselves to you. We bear our wounds that need continued healing. We show our hard-earned scars.
Leader: God, you are the rock that bore us. You are steadfast and strong. Your will is for life, yet your ways are mysterious.
Response: I don’t understand your plan for my life. I don’t know why things have turned out this way. Give me faith to trust in you and your timing.
Leader: God, you are a guiding presence through the wilderness. As you travelled alongside the Israelites in the desert, you provided direction, comfort and companionship.
Response: You know my intentions and desires. You walk alongside me in my joys and sorrows. You take my pain upon yourself.
Leader: God, you saw Hagar in the wilderness when she fled during her pregnancy. You remembered Hannah when she poured herself out before you when she could not conceive. You heard Leah’s cries for a child. You grieved for Bathsheba in the loss of her baby.
Response: God of Hagar, see me. God of Hannah, remember me. God of Leah, hear me. God of Bathsheba, grieve with me. Amen.
Prayer, Adapted from “After Miscarriage” by Laura Kelly Fanucci, Pocket Prayers for Times of Trouble (Twenty-Third Publications, 2014)
God of comfort,
you who are mother and father of us all,
hear our anguish at the loss of one in four pregnancies.
Our hearts and bodies are broken,
wracked with pain and grief.
We bring you our cries
anger and envy,
guilt and sorrow,
knowing that you mourn with us,
that our tears are not wept alone.
You who call us each by name
from our mother’s womb
know the wonder of life
no matter how small,
no matter how young.
Help us trust that you hold
these babies in your hands.
Your love is wide enough for our pain.
Your healing is the hope we cling to.
Be with us in our pain,
in this present darkness.
Enfold us in your embrace
and heal our deepest loss.1
Yes I Will CCLI 7105442
All Who Are Thirsty CCLI 2489542
It Is Well CCLI 7021972
Come As You Are CCLI 7017790
Just As I Am CCLI 5635850