Virtual Ceremony for families who have experienced loss

Virtual Ceremony for families who have experienced loss


University Maternity Hospital Limerick will host its annual Ceremony of Remembrance virtually this year, in a live stream from The Church of the Holy Rosary, Ennis Road, Limerick, on Sunday November 22nd at 3pm.

While social restrictions in response to the pandemic have prevented the ceremony from proceeding in the traditional way, Bereavement Support and Midwifery staff at UMHL feel the online service will be more important than ever in reaching out to bereaved families.

Fr Des McAuliffe will lead the service, which can be viewed live at 3pm on Sunday November 22nd here.

And for those people who are unable to view the ceremony at that time, the service will be recorded, and subsequently posted to the parish website.

The Ceremony of Remembrance aims to acknowledge and remember the pregnancies that were lost, and the babies who have died through miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death.

Rita O’Brien, Clinical Midwife Specialist Bereavement and Loss, UMHL, said that the Ceremony was just as much for the parents and families of babies who died many years ago, as for those more recently bereaved.

Speaking ahead of the ceremony, Rita said:  “During the COVID-19 pandemic there is no doubt that the experience of grief has been compounded by social restrictions. For some couples this is having devastating effects. Pregnancy loss can be a very lonely grief. Unfortunately, the companionship of the cup of tea and the chat that usually follows the ceremony will be missing this year. We would encourage people to join with us in the company of a family member for the online ceremony.”

“In this year of COVID-19, our Ceremony of Remembrance remains an important date in our calendar, perhaps more so than ever, and we are profoundly grateful to Fr Des and the Church of the Holy Rosary for enabling us to stream the event online, and hosting the recording of the service afterwards on their parish website,” Rita added.

To maximise the involvement of families at this time of social distancing, Rita encouraged women and their partners and families to email her with the names of their babies to be included in the service. Please email your baby’s name to Rita on before 4pm on Friday November 20th, 2020.