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Funeral of Baby Jed (aged 1day)


We are gathered together in this place, and this is the last place we wanted to be. A day that should have been full of hope and expectation, dreams for the future Is instead filled with pain and with tears.

Our minds are filled with questions and with what might have been, But there are no answers and there are no words to say what we want to say.

But we gather in this place because there are some truths we want to cling onto, There are some things that death cannot take from us, There are some truths that grief cannot steal.

We know that the God who made us, loves us, and that he loves us always; We know of his promise that he will never leave us or forsake us; We know God’s steps walking softly beside us; We know he offers us his gift of peace.

So let's listen now to the promises of scripture. Let's draw strength and comfort from them, that we might face this day together, trusting in the love and faithfulness of God.

Hear then God's words...

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted, (Matt.5:4)
as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who come to him, (Ps. 103:13)
and as a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you, says the Lord. (Isa. 66:13)

Hymn: All things bright and beautiful Prayers:


Loving God, we give you thanks for the familiarity of those childlike words; words which sing out with glee the wonder of your creation; words which acknowledge your creative power in everything that has life.

Today we give you thanks for Jed, for the miracle of life that he was. We give you thanks for months when he lived and developed within Deb – as one with his mother – and for those months when he lived in all the future plans of Nige and Deb and Fearn and all their family and close friends. In those months he played his part in the life of the family. You too, loving God, knew him by name; You too, loving God watched him grow and move and kick.

And we give thanks for those love-filled hours after his birth, when in his own tiny way Jed responded to Deb and Nige and Fearn, and all those who gathered to be with him through his short life.

We give thanks for the countless acts of love and kindness shown through those hours and since by family and friends by nurses and doctors and hospital staff.

But, whilst Jed’s is a life to be celebrated and treasured, and whilst he will always have his place as Deb & Nige’s son and as Fearn’s little brother, we cannot pretend that today is not also a day of great despair and loss, a day of aching emptiness, a day when our meagre resources of strength and hope seem too fragile and in short supply.

So it is that we turn to you in prayer, loving God. You alone can heal our broken hearts; You alone can wipe away the tears that well up inside us; You alone can give us the peace we need; You alone can strengthen us to carry on. (italics - Common Order)

May we console each other with the message you proclaim, and so find light in darkness and faith in the midst of doubt; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (URC Service book)

Words about Jed...

Jed’s Story (as told by his mother Deb)
Fearn’s poem – The other side of midnight
Words from Nigel’s mother, Sheila

Music – “Teardrop” by Massive Attack

Reading: Isaiah 49:13-16 (GNB)

Sing, heavens! Shout for joy, earth! Let the mountains burst into song! The Lord will comfort his people; he will have pity on his suffering people

But the people of Jerusalem said, “The Lord has abandoned us! He has forgotten us.”

So, the Lord answers:

“Can a woman forget her own baby and not love the child she bore? Even if a mother should forget her child – I will never forget you. I can never forget you! I Have written your name on the palms of my hands.”

Short Address

On a day such as this, what is there to say? On a day such as this, what has Christian Faith to say? What has God to say? Surely God has abandoned us?

Surely God has abandoned us...

But God does have something to say. He says it in words through the prophet Isaiah to his people suffering in captivity. He says, “Do you really want to know how deeply I feel for you? Then try to imagine a mother forgetting her children.” How poignant that image is for us today. “That’s how deeply I feel for you,” says God, “I could never forget you, I could never abandon you, each and every one of you is my child, I have written your names on the palms of my hands.”

God says it in words through the prophets Isaiah. But words aren’t really enough today are they?

God said it another way – in flesh and blood, in the life and death and rising again of his son Jesus Christ. In Jesus Christ, God has lived through all of the joy and pain, all of the hope and despair, all of the ecstasy and heartbreak that are part of human life. On the cross, Jesus also felt the crushing loneliness of abandonment, he too shouted out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

And God’s answer comes not in words but in the miracle of resurrection – life conquering death, hope conquering despair, light conquering the darkness.

In word and in deed God says that he is with us; In word and in deed God offers us his hand to guide us into the future; In word and in deed God offers us peace beyond our understanding; In word and in deed God reaches out to us in our pain – all we can do is grab hold, and not let go.

“Can a woman forget her own baby and not love the child she bore? Even if a mother should forget her child – I will never forget you. I can never forget you! I Have written your name on the palms of my hands.”

Prayers:    Common Order p.312
Hymn: Morning has broken
Blessing (followed by Music, procession and signing of paper balloons)

At the Graveside...


Loving Lord, we’re burying a baby today. Jed only lived a few hours outside his mother’s womb. But he’d been nestling within for several months. Always loved. Always wanted. Always cherished. Always on the receiving end of warm human life.

Jed, a unique creation, co-cherished by you as the Mother and Father, Lord, nurtured, held close, touched and wondered at by his mum and dad.

There’s nothing to be said at the graveside of a newborn baby. Only that he never knew anything else but being on the receiving end of sheer love that could never be earned or worked for. Eight months of delightful cherishing is an amazing amount of love-power from mum and dad, and from you, Lord.

Loving Lord, it’s so easy to forget how to receive love and all that goes with that wondrously awesome gift. It’s so easy to forget.

Loving Lord, we’re never too young or too old for you. Jed proves that. Life is precious. Jed proves that. Help me, help all of us to be better lovers of life. Help me, help all of us to find fullness of life in your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Committal...

Words of committal are spoken and Jed is lowered into the grave

Columban Blessing:

(Taking up a theme of the four elements, important to Jed's parents...)

Blessed be you, Lord God, for our Sister Water: She is humble and useful, precious and clean.

(Water is sprinkled)

Blessed be you, Lord God, for Brother Fire: By whom night is lightened, Who is noble and fair, cheerful and very strong

(A Candle is lit)

Blessed be you, Lord God, for earth, our Mother and Sister: By whom we are sustained, fed and ordered: Who brings forth fruits, herbs, and the bright flowers.

(Earth is thrown)

Blessed be you, Lord God, for our Brother, Wind: For air and clouds, storms and calm, Providing for every creature.

(Helium Balloons are released)