Catholic Information:

Mass for Unbaptized Babies
USCCB Solace and Strength in the Sorrow of Miscarriage Bulletin PDF
USCCB Solace and Strength in the Sorrow of Miscarriage Newsletter PDF
Miscarriage Prayer by Mother Angelica
Hope for Healing: Miscarriage and the Dignity of the Human Body
Order of Naming and Commendation of an Infant Who Died Before Birth
Follow-Up: Resources for Miscarriage, Stillbirth & Perinatal Loss

Burying the Dead: The Seventh Corporal Work of Mercy

Burying the dead is a corporal work of mercy. At Heaven’s Gain, we want to enable you, the parents, to perform this loving act for your little one.

According to the USCCB, “the Corporal Works of Mercy are found in the teachings of Jesus and give us a model for how we should treat all others, as if they were Christ in disguise.  They ‘are charitable actions by which we help our neighbors in their bodily needs’ (USCCA).  They respond to the basic needs of humanity as we journey together through this life.”

“Funerals give us the opportunity to grieve and show others support during difficult times.  Through our prayers and actions during these times we show our respect for life, which is always a gift from God, and comfort to those who mourn.”

The Spiritual Works of Mercy

At Heaven’s Gain, we strive to perform the spiritual works of mercy for our clients through instruction, giving advice, consolation, and comforting parents and all family and friends who are grieving the loss of a baby. Our goal is to support the family in its time of grief, to affirm the dignity of the baby, and to assist in closure for the family.

According to the USCCB, “the Spiritual Works of Mercy have long been a part of the Christian tradition, appearing in the works of theologians and spiritual writers throughout history.  Just as Jesus attended to the spiritual well-being of those he ministered to, these Spiritual Works of Mercy guide us to ‘help our neighbor in their spiritual needs’ (USCCA).”

Cremation and the Order of Christian Funerals: USCCB

The cremated remains of a body should be treated with the same respect given to the human body from which they come. This includes the use of a worthy vessel to contain the ashes, the manner in which they are carried, and the care and attention to appropriate placement and transport, and the final disposition. The cremated remains should be buried in a grave or entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium. The practice of scattering cremated remains on the sea, from the air, or on the ground, or keeping cremated remains on the home of a relative or friend of the deceased are not the reverent disposition that the Church requires. (no. 417)

As cremation is chosen more frequently, there will be many who are unaware of the Church’s teaching regarding this practice. It is important for bishops and pastors not only to catechize the faithful, but to collaborate with funeral directors in providing helpful and accurate information to families planning the funeral of loved ones. Offering opportunities to family members for the respectful burial of their loved ones, who were not interred after funeral services and cremation, would give effective witness to the importance of Christian burial and our belief in the resurrection. In all, pastors are encouraged to show pastoral sensitivity, especially to those for whom cremation is the only feasible choice (see Appendix, no. 415).