Anyone who has experienced the loss of a baby at pregnancy, birth or in infancy will be warmly welcomed at the fourth annual Saying Goodbye Service in Belfast Cathedral on Sunday June 3 at 3.30pm.
This is part of a series of national remembrance services. Nearly 20 will be held around the UK, allowing bereaved parents, families and friends to join together in acknowledging and remembering babies that have gone too soon.
Sunday’s service will include the reading of poems including ‘What makes a mother’ by Jennifer Wasik; ‘I could have’ by Zoe Clark-Coates; ‘I will never’ by Clarke-Coates / Fosberry; and ‘Take a deep breath’ by L Behrndt.
There will be the opportunity to light a candle in memory of your baby, and also to ring a hand bell as a way of remembering. This is unique to the Saying Goodbye services and allows parents to ring the bell once for each child they have lost.
The service will include a reading from Psalm 139 verses 13-16, and a Litany of Remembrance. The address will be by the Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev Stephen Forde.
The services are organised by The Mariposa Trust, which held its first service in 2012, and celebrated its 100th service at the end of 2017 in Westminster, London. The charity now provides support that reaches over 50,000 people each week through its six divisions offering support through baby loss, pregnancy after baby loss, fertility, adoption and more.
The charity was founded by Zoe and Andy Clark-Coates, who sadly suffered the loss of five babies. They saw that there was an extreme lack of support available to parents like them, and so decided to start the ‘Saying Goodbye’ services.
Baby loss affects around one in four pregnancies each year in the UK. The services allow people to stand with others who have experienced the similar trauma of baby loss, and collectively acknowledge and remember each life lost.
The services are open to people of faith or no faith, whether people have lost recently or decades ago, and welcome not only parents, but also the extended family and friends.
More information on the charity can be found at www.mariposatrust.org and via www.sayinggoodbye.org. The charity has multiple social media pages, and can be followed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sayinggoodbyeuk and on Twitter @SayingGoodbyeUK. The charity can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.