I wanted to blog about this Order right away. After all, EVERYONE should know all about it! This was developed by the Respect Life and Social Justice Office of the Diocese of Wichita, and I still believe it needs to be spread far and wide to all ends of the Church. So to Bonnie Toombs (who obviously dedicated so much time and research into getting this Order so perfect) and to Kellee Kruse (who worked on making this booklet something beautiful for parents to physically hold on to), I extend my deepest appreciation. I do not know either of you personally, but I can see the light of Christ shine through your work, and I am humbled and deeply affected by it. Bless you.
So why did it take me so long to post praise on a booklet I obviously have such respect and appreciation for?
Because I didn't know where to start. In truth, I was afraid to open the booklet when I first got it because I wasn't sure how I'd handle my grief (ever creeping just below the surface). I'm glad I finally peered inside, though, because the very first page is something akin to a Baptismal Certificate. You can't tell from the PDF below, but there is a perforated "certificate" called a Remembrance of Commendation. There is a place to write your child's name, the parents' name, and a date of Commendation. Beautifully, there is also a line for a witness (likely the minister) who can again validate the life of that child.
The introduction explains the purpose of the order and the need for such an order in today's world.
From there, all of the rites are so perfectly worded that I get all teary just thinking about them. God is spoken of so lovingly that you can't help but feel both joyed and grateful that such a loving Father has sought to gather these little ones to Himself. Gratitude for the gift of life and gratitude for His mercy is laced all throughout these pages.
So I'm leaving it here for you to see. I've already submitted a copy to my pastor with the request that he consider its use. It's just so beautiful. Even the suggested songs at the end are wonderful. The booklet that I had used a linen cover stock for the first two "pages" and then a creme text stock for the rest. This format ensured that the cover and perforated "Remembrance" cards were of stronger materials (since the latter can be a keepsake).
I've also included the PDF in a downloadable file if you'd like to just e-mail a copy to your pastor (since the embedded plug-in can be hit-or-miss.
Please share this with your prayer groups and parish families. I honestly believe it has such wonderful potential to help heal the wounds left by miscarriage and infant loss.