The United Diocese of Down And Dromore


Bishop Harold speaks personally to Sunday Sequence about miscarriage and new liturgies

Bishop Harold speaks personally to Sunday Sequence about miscarriage and new liturgies

Monday 24 June 2019

Last month the General Synod agreed a new liturgy which provides services for use in the context of miscarriage, stillbirth and neo–natal death.

During the debate, many people, clergy and lay, approached the podium and told their own stories of the loss of a pregnancy.

A a member of the Liturgical Advisory Committee, Bishop Harold was very involved with the creation of the new liturgy. It also has personal resonance for him and his wife Liz. They suffered three miscarriages before going on to have four children.

Bishop Harold was invited to speak about their experiences and the new services on Sunday Sequence on 23 June. 

Listen to the segment online at this link (starting from 1:10). The bishop was joined on the programme by Ruth Bender Atik, National Director of the Miscarriage Association.

The new liturgies

There are two key liturgies: the first being a service of prayer and naming and the second is a funeral service. The idea for these grew essentially out of pastoral need, and the new liturgies have universally been very warmly welcomed. They will soon become available on the Church of Ireland website. 

Bishop Harold said: “The great value of written but flexible liturgy is that it gives us words to pray when we find it hard to form our own words. The special value of ‘naming’ is that a name bestows value and a sense of personhood, both of which are so important in the vulnerability of carrying a baby.”

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