EWTN Catholic Q&A
Funeral rites for stillborn infants
Question from Cyndi on 10-30-2008:

Why are stillborn infants not allowed a funeral service w/in the church, only a graveside service. Our stillborn child was unbaptized, altho we wished him to be. We couldn't locate a priest to perform his baptism. He had died in the womb days prior to delivery. Didn't Jesus say,"Suffer the little children to come unto me." Also why are we told that stillborns will not be entered into Heaven as he was unbaptized? Adults who are unbaptized are assumed to go to Heaven because they intended to be baptised. Why should a child be denied the same thing.

Answer by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on 11-07-2008:

While sometimes parents may choose only a graveside service, there is nothing to prevent stillborn infants from having a funeral service (with or without Mass) in Church.

There are specific rites in the Order of Christian Funerals for a child whose parents intended to have him or her baptized.

COPYRIGHT 2002

www.ewtn.com