New Book Review: Of Womb and Tomb – Prayer in Time of Infertility, Miscarriage, and Stillbirth

A new resource by Kate Williams
and GIA Publications

Once in a great while we encounter a resource that fundamentally changes the way we do ministry. We are so moved and formed and challenged that it is difficult, perhaps even impossible, to forget the sacred treasures contained within. GIA’s Of Womb and Tomb is exactly that resource.

Masterfully edited by Kate Williams, Of Womb and TombPrayer in Time of Infertility, Miscarriage, and Stillbirth is more than a simple compilation of prayers. As the Foreword suggests, we can and must do better in our parish ministries to acknowledge these types of loss and walk with our sisters and brothers who live these realities. Five sacred stories at the beginning of the collection ground the work in this lived experience before offering an assortment of comforting prayers, hymns, poems, and scripture. Resources for both personal reflection and liturgical prayer give individuals, couples, families, and entire communities words to pray at times when finding words might be difficult. Four rites, ranging from a Blessing of Parents after a Miscarriage to an Evening Liturgy of the Word and Ritual of Light, provide everything needed for a complete service of prayer. A corresponding audio CD and music collection supplement the written text.

Of Womb and Tomb is a welcome gift to all who work to articulate, facilitate and live authentic liturgy, giving voice and body to an often silent and invisible reality. 

One comment

  1. While I’m quite partial to the work of my GIA colleague Kate, this resource, as John points out, is very important and very much needed. I remember all the excitement surrounding the release of the Order of Christian Funerals in 1989. (It was first my time getting to read the Green, Gray and White books from the BCL/ICEL!) So many people were touched by the breadth of prayers and experiences reflected in the texts and rites of the OCF. We had not previously seen prayer texts for those who committed suicide, or died from violence, or died too young. And yet those realities were always there. In a similar way some 30 years later, this collection gives fuller expression, words and resources to those who suffer infertility, miscarriage or stillbirth; realities that have always been there. Thanks, Kate!

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