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Graveside Service for an Infant

Christy Gunter Leppert

I. Scripture

Psalm 46:1-3, 10a

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
Though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains tremble with its tumult. . ..
Be still, and know that I am God! [NRSV]

II.  Invocation

Lord God, the one who welcomed children into his arms, we ask you to give us the strength and grace to make it through this day.  Please be present here with us for we are completely dependent on you.

III. Words of Comfort and Hope

Dear friends, we are gathered here today to say goodbye to a precious life.  This is a tragedy, a tear in the very heart of God. And I want to talk with you, for just a quick moment, in this time of incredible pain and sadness, of hope.

We have hope.

Because Jesus Christ died before [child’s name] died and because God raised Jesus from the dead, we have hope that [child’s name] will be raised in the same way Jesus was. Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me will live, even though they die." (John 11:25)

We have hope.

Isaiah 65:17 and 20

For I am about to create a new heavens and a new earth;
the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.

No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime.  [NRSV]

This passage tells us that in the new creation, God will make everything new. No longer will there be a time when children die or only live a few hours. God will one day take away the things that cause pain. We have hope because when God raises those who are now dead, in the same way Jesus was raised from the dead, all things will be created new.

We have hope.

We also have hope because we know [child’s name] is held in the arms of God, right now. We have hope because we know God will hold and keep [child’s name] until the resurrection of the dead.

[Child’s name] is held in the arms of God, right now.  We have hope.

IV. Prayer

Lord God, we ask you to give us the grace to entrust this child, (child’s name), to your never-failing care and love. Into your hands, dear Lord, we commend [child’s name]. Receive [him/her} into your arms of mercy. 

And may [his/her] parents and all who are gathered here find comfort in the knowledge and hope that [child’s name] is in your arms, right now.

V. Committal

In the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ, we commit the body of this child to the grave.

As Jesus, during his earthly life, took the children into His arms and blessed them, may you, Jesus Christ, receive this dear one unto yourself.

For as Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:14)

VI. Prayer

Heavenly Father, God of all mercy, we look to you in this time of deep sorrow. We are confident that you, God, the giver of life, will raise [child’s name] to perfection in the same way you raised Jesus Christ from the dead.  We are also confident that you, God, are holding [child’s name] even now.

Comfort those who are gathered here with sad and heavy hearts. Sustain them, be with them, and guide them in the days to come. Grant that they might love and serve you.

And dear Lord, deal graciously with [parent’s names] in their grief.  Surround them with your love that they might not be overwhelmed with their loss but be confident in your goodness and faithfulness.

Amen.

VII. Benediction

May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant, brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, equip you, comfort you, and be ever present with you.


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