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A subcommittee of the Committee for Pastoral Practice of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops was convened from March 12-14 in Antiochian Village in Pennsylvania for the purpose of addressing the current lack of a common service for miscarried or stillborn infants and associated pastoral guidance. In attendance were: (L-R) Mat. Elizabeth Lein (OCA), Mat. Anna Crawford (OCA), Fr. Peter J. Gillquist (AOCA), Bishop Mark (OCA), Archbishop Benjamin (OCA), Fr. Ian Pac-Urar (AOCA), Kh. Linda Ellison (AOCA) and Dr. Phillip Mamalakis (GOA). [Mat. Jenny Shroedel (OCA) was present by skype.]
It was a very positive and productive conference. The completed work will be a booklet for Orthodox pastors to address the following topics: basic medical information including a glossary of terms, suggestions for pastoral care of grieving families, guidance on burials, etc. The second half of the booklet will consist of prayers appropriate to a variety of circumstances and a service of burial and memorial service. This will be presented to the parent committee in May, and then, if approved, to the Assembly of Bishops in the fall. In the meantime a separate booklet for women and their families will be in progress.
Please keep the committee members in your prayers as they address this important work.