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Masses of Remembrance for infant loss

A Book of Remembrance sits in front of the altar of the Pastoral Center's Bethany Chapel in which people could write the names of children who died before or soon after birth. Pilot photo/Jacqueline Tetrault

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BRAINTREE -- The Archdiocese of Boston's Pro-Life Office and Project Rachel sponsored two Masses of Remembrance and Healing for Pregnancy and Infant Loss celebrated by Father J. Bryan Hehir. The first was held on All Saints Day, Nov. 1, at Bethany Chapel in the Pastoral Center. The second took place on Nov. 6 at St. Patrick's Church in Natick.

Usually held in the first week of November, the month in which the Church remembers the dead, this Mass is an opportunity for families who have lost children due to miscarriage, abortion, stillbirth, or other causes of early death to acknowledge and honor their child.

The Masses included a Naming of the Children ritual. While singing the Litany of the Saints, attendees wrote the name of the child they wished to remember on a piece of paper, which they placed in a basket in front of the altar. After the Mass, they were given an opportunity to write the children's names in the Book of Remembrance.

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