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Blessing of a Monument to the Unborn

 

Greeting

When all have gathered, the priest or deacon greets them in the following, or some other suitable, words:

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, (BOB 1423)
giver of life and conqueror of death,
be with you all.

R. And also with you.

In the following or similar words, the priest or deacon prepares those present for the celebration:

Brothers and sisters in Christ:
At the beginning of creation, the Spirit of God breathed upon the waters
and brought beauty out of chaos.
Then God took the soil of the earth
and by his breath put life within our beings.
Yet from the time of Cain, we have taken the life of our brother
and slain our sister in acts of unspeakable selfishness and sin.

This monument is erected to the memory of those innocents
who have died unjustly, whose lives were taken from them
while they grew silently in their mother's wombs.

May this monument be a memorial to their memory,
a reminder of our own sinfulness,
and a call to do penance for our sins and the sins of the whole world.
May we trust in God's mercy,
encourage and strengthen all who have sinned
and seek justice in a world too often filled with sin and selfishness and hate.


Reading of the Word of God

An appropriate reading may be taken from the Lectionary for Funerals for Children Who Died Before Baptism as found in the Order of Christian Funerals chapter 15.


Homily

Intercessions

The priest or deacon introduces the intercessions:

Christ the Lord blotted out sin by dying on the cross
and destroyed death by rising from the tomb.
Let us therefore commend these children to his care
and place our faith in his mercy:

Another person leads the intercessions:

For all children who have died by abortion,
and especially for the children of (diocese, town).
May they rest securely
in the loving arms of the Lord;
We pray to the Lord:

R. Lord, hear our prayer

For the parents of these children,
may God move their hearts to repentance
and give them courage and peace;
We pray to the Lord:

R. Lord, hear our prayer

For doctors and all health care professionals,
that by our patient and loving example,
they may be affirmed in a love for life;
We pray to the Lord:

R. Lord, hear our prayer

For a growing respect for the Gospel of Life,
that we may defend the lives of the littlest and weakest
in the model of Christ Jesus:
We pray to the Lord:

R. Lord, hear our prayer

For all little children,
and especially those secure in their mother's womb,
that we might treasure them as God's most precious gift;
We pray to the Lord:

R. Lord, hear our prayer

The priest or deacon concludes the intercessions by inviting all to pray the Lord's Prayer:
God hears our prayers,
and so we have the courage to pray:

Our Father...

Closing Prayer and Blessing (Based on OCF 15)

Lord God,
ever caring and gentle,
we commit to your love these little ones,
quickened to life for so short a time.
Enfold them in your love.

We pray for all responsible for the death of these children.
Give them the gift of true repentance,
and comfort them with a full portion of your mercy.

Bless this monument (+)
that it may be a sign to us
of our need for your grace.

Heavenly Father,
transform our selfishness and sin
and make us turn to your love.
Help us to embrace the Gospel of life
to repudiate sin, selfishness and death
and to live only as your children.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen

Blessing (BOB 1753-1754)

A priest or deacon prays:

May the peace of God,
which is beyond all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds
in the knowledge and love of God
and of his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ

R. Amen.

Then he blesses all present.

And may almighty God bless you,
the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit.

R. Amen.

The service may be concluded by a suitable psalm or other song.

Prepared by Rev. James Moroney, Former Executive Director, USCCB Office for Liturgy.


Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 4th Street, N.E., Washington, DC 20017-1194 (202) 541-3070



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