After we found out that our pregnancy was ectopic and would require surgery, I contacted our local priest for some counsel. He instructed us to get some holy water from the Church and baptize the baby prior to the surgery. He explained this is the same way that nurses can baptize, and told us that we can sprinkle Tasha’s stomach with water in the same form as standard baptism. He also instructed us to pick a name for the baby and then remember the baby in prayer and he would remember the baby in Mass for us.
My Mom had decided to rush in from Illinois to support us during the surgery and to watch our daughter, so I decided that we would do the baptism the night before the surgery. We spent the day prior selecting a name, and I had decided at that time that I would like to put some prayers together. I always enjoyed hearing the priest or deacon talk before the baptism, and I figured it is my right as a father to pray for my child. I wrote down some notes and practiced in a weak attempt to protect against breaking down and bawling (it didn’t work).
I set up some candles and a cloth and said the following prayers with my wife and Mom present. I decided to post them here for the benefit of my friends and family that could not be present and to thank God yet again for the blessing of this little life, with us for far too short of a time:
Almighty and ever-living God, we gather here today with the full knowledge that your Mercy extends beyond the Sacraments that you provide mankind. We come to thank you for our own lives and the life of our unborn baby, for Tasha’s health, our friends and family that comprise your mystical Body, and for the gift of Faith which we cling to in hard times such as these.
Your Son said “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. (Mark 10:14)” and so we do. But as we aim to do this, The Adversary is ever at our heels tempting us to take immoral actions that would take us away from your Grace. Instead of losing our souls and salvation we strengthen our resolve, our Faith, and our family bond during this hard time and bring you one more saint in Heaven.
As so I baptize you in the name of the Father <pour water>, and of the Son <pour water>, and of the Holy Spirit <pour water>.
Thank you for the life of this child, who we name Jude Michael Dalcher after the patron saint of lost causes. We ask you to commend him to your Divine Care and grant us peace instead of sorrow, love instead of pain, and strength instead of despair. This is living our Faith and though this child will not be with us, we hope our example of strong Faith brings others to you.
Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Hail Mary, full of Grace the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.
Glory Be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
O My Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of Hell. Lead all souls into Heaven, especially those most in need of thy Mercy.
Saint Jude, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Peregrine, pray for us.
Saint Peter, pray for us.
Blessed John Paul II, pray for us.
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us.
All our departed family, pray for us.
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.