By Fr. Ray Pendelton
Whenever there is a loss of life or an event that leaves a significant void within us it is important to provide for a time for healing. The serºvice that has been entitled, “Rachel Weeping” is that kind of opportunity.
Loss of life in the womb is a powerful and significant experience that leaves a mother with an ambiguous set of reactions. The expected joy of receiving a child has been lost and there is a grief reaction. The same set of complex reactions take place for many who have been through the experience of abortion. This latter is a choice that cannot be undone. Many find this a time of sadness coupled with guilt and a mixture of emotions.
It is important to find a time and place to reflect on these losses and to experience God’s grace and healing: and where it is appropriate to experience God’s forgiveness for actions taken that are now regretted, as in the case of abortion. The “Rachel Weeping” service is such a place.
This service includes a time of quiet reflection and a timely teaching on God’s special grace to meet the needs of grieving persons. Each person is given an opportunity to reflect, to write a note and perhaps even to give a name to an unborn child. Each person is given a white rose, representing the child. As each persons senses that they are ready, the notes and roses are brought to the altar and placed there as a memorial response.
Sometimes it is a member of the extended family who joins this time of reflection when the mother is unable, for a number of reasons, to attend.
This year the Rachel Weeping service will take place at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 21st in the church. Any person who has experienced the loss of a child is invited to attend. If you know of anyone who might be helped by such a service, please invite them to attend.
For further information please contact the church office, (978) 774-3163.