This is the clergy version of prayer written for a moment beyond imagination. It’s an adaption of “On Removing a Child’s Life Support.” The prayer is divided into two parts: a meditation before the removal of life support and a brief prayer after the child passes on. This revision includes sections for both clergy and parents. The original prayer was written at the request of Rabbi Stephanie Covitz, resident chaplain at an Ohio children’s hospital. She was asked to assist a family at that difficult moment. May all who face these choices find consolation and renewal.
On Removing a Child’s Life Support (Clergy Version)
Before the Removal
What is healing?
And what is kindness?
What is mercy?
And what is grace?
What is love?
And what is compassion?
Soul of the Universe,
You are our beginning
And you are our ending.
When ______________________ (name of parent/parents/guardian)
Dreamed of becoming [a father/a mother/parents/modify as appropriate]
He /She/They never expected to face the death of a child,
Still only [a baby/child/youth /teen/in (his/her prime)],
To remove life support,
And, in days to come, to bury him/her.
You have challenged them to make painful choices,
And yet, G-d of Ages, benevolent and holy choices.
We do this in the name of healing.
And we do this in the name of kindness.
We do this in the name of mercy.
And we do this in the name of grace.
We do this in the name of love.
And we do this in the name of compassion.
We do this from the depths our despair
Praying to find a path back to wholeness and life renewed.
G-d of Old, we ask for Your blessing, for Your Shelter and for Your Peace.
Author of Life,
Source and Creator,
Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace to
______________________ (name of the child in Hebrew or your native tongue),
Whose life has ended too soon.
Bless this family with
Faith to mourn,
Courage to heal,
Strength to rebuild,
And devotion to each other.
May the memory ___________ (first name)
Be sanctified with joy and love.
May his/her soul be bound up in the bond of life,
A source of blessing in our midst.
© 2013 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.
Postscript: Here’s a “Meditation on the Burial of a Young Child.” See also “On Removing a Child’s Life Support,” “For the Bereaved” and “For Bereaved Children.” Thanks to Rabbi Covitz for using some of my work in her Rabbinic thesis. I am touched that she has turned to me for assistance on several occasions.
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Photo Credit: The Sunday Times