Rebecca K. Reynolds

Honest Company for the Journey

Funeral Service for an Unknown Child

I have been thinking about what we can do in response to the new ‪#‎ShoutYourAbortion‬ campaign.

As a mother, my instinct is to adopt children in danger or need. I am grieving over my inability to do that here.

The least I can do is provide a proper funeral for some of these babies. Their brief lives merit at least this much respect.

If you want to participate in honoring the slain, select a child by searching the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion on Twitter, then find a respectful, quiet place to pray/speak through the following service. If a married couple is performing the ceremony together, parts can be read by the mother and father. If you are adopting the child as a single person, all the lines can be read by one.

May God heal our land. It is so full of broken hearts and broken lives.

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FATHER: I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.(Romans 8.38,39)

MOTHER: We brought nothing into the world, and we take nothing out.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. 
(1 Timothy 6.7; Job 1.21b)

FATHER: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is his faithfulness. (Lamentations 3.22,23)

MOTHER: God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. (John 3.16)

MOTHER: We come in the name of Jesus Christ,
who died and was raised to the glory of God the Father.

FATHER: We come before God
to remember a child slain by abortion,
to give thanks for his/her life; 
to commend him/her to God our merciful redeemer and judge; 
to commit his/her body to the earth,
and to comfort one another in our grief.

MOTHER: God of all consolation,
your Son Jesus Christ was moved to tears
at the grave of Lazarus his friend.
Look with compassion on your children in their loss;
give to troubled hearts the light of hope
and strengthen in us the gift of faith,
in Jesus Christ our Lord.


MOTHER: As children of a loving heavenly Father,
let us ask his forgiveness,
for he is gentle and full of compassion.

(A moment of silence)

FATHER: God of mercy,
we acknowledge that we are all sinners.
We turn from the wrong that we have thought and said and done,
and are mindful of all that we have failed to do.
For the sake of Jesus, who died for us,
forgive us for all that is past,
and help us to live each day
in the light of Christ our Lord.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

FATHER: May God our Father forgive us our sins
and bring us to the eternal joy of his kingdom,
where dust and ashes have no dominion.

MOTHER: Merciful Father,
hear our prayers and comfort us;
renew our trust in your Son,
whom you raised from the dead;
strengthen our faith
that all who have died in the love of Christ
will share in his resurrection;
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

The Lord is my shepherd; 
therefore can I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures 
and leads me beside still waters.
He shall refresh my soul 
and guide me in the paths of righteousness 
for his name's sake.

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; 
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You spread a table before me
in the presence of those who trouble me; 
you have anointed my head with oil
and my cup shall be full.
Surely goodness and loving mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life, 
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

God of mercy, Lord of life,
you have made us in your image
to reflect your truth and light:
we give you thanks for the soul of this unknown child,
for the flutters of grace and mercy that he/she received from you,
for all that was good in his/her brief life,
For the tiny body you knit together by your own hand,
for the potential you imparted to him/her.

We we offer our love for a child
who knew no human love on this earth,
except for the love You gave him/her.
And how great a love is Your love.

Your mighty power brings joy out of grief
and life out of death.
Look in mercy on this child we morn.
And as we grieve,
give us patient faith in these times of darkness.
Strengthen us with the knowledge of your love.

You are tender towards your children
and your mercy is over all your works.
So for the mother who made this choice,
soften her soul,
grant her repentance.
Heal her memories of hurt and failure,
give her the wisdom and grace to use 
the time that is left to her here on earth,
to turn to Christ and follow in his steps
in the way that leads to everlasting life.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. 

Let us commend this child to the mercy of God,
our maker and redeemer.

(A moment of silence)

God our creator and redeemer,
by your power Christ conquered death
and entered into glory.
Confident of his victory
and claiming his promises,
we entrust this child to your mercy
in the name of Jesus our Lord,
who died and is alive
and reigns with you,
now and for ever. 

The Lord is full of compassion and mercy,
slow to anger and of great goodness.

As a father is tender towards his children,
so is the Lord tender to those that fear him.

For he knows of what we are made;
he remembers that we are but dust.
Our days are like the grass;
we flourish like a flower of the field;
when the wind goes over it, it is gone
and its place will know it no more.

But the merciful goodness of the Lord endures
for ever and ever toward those that fear him
and his righteousness upon their children's children.

We have but a short time to live.
Like a flower we blossom and then wither;
like a shadow we flee and never stay.
In the midst of life we are in death;
to whom can we turn for help,

but to you, Lord, who are justly angered by our sins?
Yet, Lord God most holy, Lord most mighty,
O holy and most merciful Saviour,
deliver us from the bitter pain of eternal death.
Lord, you know the secrets of our hearts;
hear our prayer, O God most mighty;
spare us, most worthy judge eternal;
at our last hour let us not fall from you,
O holy and merciful Saviour.

We have entrusted this child to God's mercy,
and we now commit his/her body to the ground:
earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust:
in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life
through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who will transform our frail bodies
that they may be conformed to his glorious body,
who died, was buried, and rose again for us.
To him be glory for ever.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever.

Support us, O Lord,
all the day long of this troublous life,
until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes,
the busy world is hushed,
the fever of life is over
and our work is done.
Then, Lord, in your mercy grant us a safe lodging,
a holy rest, and peace at the last;
through Christ our Lord.

Unto him that is able to keep us from falling,
and to present us faultless before the presence of his glory
with exceeding joy,
to the only wise God our Saviour,
be glory and majesty,
dominion and power,
both now and ever.


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Art: "Views of a Foetus in the Womb" by Leonardo DaVinci