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Russian Church Services Held for Children Dying Without Baptism

"The support of the church and the recognition that deceased children are not without the grace of the Lord..."

At the request of the Light in Hands charity foundation, which helps parents who have lost their baby during pregnancy or after giving birth, services were held in churches in Moscow, the Leningrad Region and Barnaul for dead unbaptized children.

According to statistics, in Russia every fifth pregnancy ends in the death of the child in the early stages, in childbirth, or in the first year of life. And for many believing parents, it is important that they pray in church for the babies who were not able to receive baptism. For this purpose the Russian Orthodox Church provides the rite of the funeral of unbaptized infants.

"The support of the church and the recognition that deceased children are not without the grace of the Lord are certainly extremely important for parents, and give a significant therapeutic effect. Everything that supports a person in such grief, gives comfort and strength to live on, we can consider it useful and necessary in the sense of helping families who have lost a baby. It is important for people that their parenthood be recognized despite the fact that the child has died. And recognition through such a comforting prayer is also important for many - the parents themselves told us about it and thanked us for the organization,” they told the Open NGOs portal in the Light in Hands Charity Fund.

In Moscow, the service took place in the church of St. Roman the Melodist in the tomb of the Romanov boyars of the Novospassky monastery. The service was conducted by the Viceroy of the monastery, Bishop of Resurrection, Dionysius, Vicar of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. After the service, Father Dionysius talked with each parent and answered questions. The same service was held in the Kazan church of the village of Vyritsa in the Leningrad Region and in St. Nicholas Church of Barnaul.

In total, 50 parishioners came to the services, who asked for their babies, the children of their friends and all the babies who died without baptism.

Prayer is read for all the babies. At the request of the foundation, now such a service in the Novospassky Monastery in Moscow will be held regularly, including on November 10 - on the Mother’s Day of the lost child.

In addition, one can ask the priest in any local church to hold special services for deceased babies.

"We are working to ensure that the situation in the field of perinatal losses changes for the better, so that more parents receive timely help and support. The consolation that believers receive in the church is of great importance, and we gratefully accept the support and recognition of parents experiencing the loss of a child,” says Alexandra Feshin, director of the Light in Hands Foundation.

Light in the Hands is the first fund in Russia dealing with the prevention of infant mortality. The Foundation is doing everything possible to help parents survive the loss of a child during pregnancy, childbirth or soon after. Fund specialists help parents on the way to a new pregnancy after perinatal loss. In addition, the Light in Hands charity foundation provides training for medical personnel of maternity hospitals and perinatal centers throughout Russia. In 2019, the training course of the Interaction with the Patient in the Situation of Perinatal Loss Foundation received support from the Presidential Grants Fund. More than 2,000 Russian doctors have already completed the course and noted the relevance of the knowledge.

Source: dobro.live (Russian)

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