Holding Hope: Grieving Pregnancy Loss During Advent is a four-week Advent devotion for all those suffering from pregnancy loss. It is intended to be used by anyone who is grieving the loss of a child or children due to miscarriage, stillbirth, or other complications of premature births.
While pregnancy loss is unfortunately common, the details and grief processes surrounding such a loss are something we do not often discuss. Too many parents suffer in silence or solitude and feel that there is no appropriate way for them to talk about their grief. And yet, these experiences are not uncommon and do not happen in isolation. Friends and family members may have trouble understanding the complex emotions that accompany such grief, and clergy are often asked for ministry in situations in which they are uncomfortable or unfamiliar.
Moreover, the grief of losing a baby, like any other grief, is often more intense during the holiday season. With grief from pregnancy loss, these emotions are heightened even further in a season that awaits and celebrates the birth of a child. There is simply something magical about celebrating Christmas with children, and something heart-wrenching when a child dies before ever experiencing the joy of Christmas.
Therefore, Holding Hope is intended to provide a safe opportunity for us to share our experiences of pregnancy loss. Each Sunday of Advent has scripture passages from the Old and New Testament, as well as an accompanying devotion. It is our prayer that this devotion will offer you comfort and hope in the midst of a terrible time of pain. We believe that the Church should be a place where you can find support and comfort, and pray that the guidance within these pages reaches out to you, wherever you are, and opens up the possibility of hope for a future in Christ.
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About the Author
Ashley-Anne Masters received her Master of Divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA and is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA). After completing a unit of CPE at Northside Hospital in Atlanta, she felt passionate about ministering to families during high risk pregnancies, perinatal losses, and complicated premature births, and completed a year-long CPE residency at Northside serving as chaplain in the High Risk Pregnancy, Labor and Delivery, and Neonatal Intensive Care Units. She has served congregations in Florida and Indiana, and currently serves as an adjunct staff member at Montreat Conference Center in Montreat, NC, and at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago as a PRN pediatric chaplain.