The final corporal work of mercy, “bury the dead,” is especially relevant this week as we remember the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Tragically, most if not all of the unborn children who lost their lives from abortion were never given the dignity of a proper burial. Most were thrown into the trash, treated like garbage.

How can we practice this corporal work of mercy for them? Here are 5 ideas to ponder as we strive to never forget this ongoing tragedy and do what we can to make reparation for the harm done to these precious children:

1. Commission a “Memorial to the Unborn” in Your Local Cemetery

With the popularity of the birth-control pill, women across the world have aborted their unborn children. This means that there is hardly a community left that has not been touched by this tragedy. Every Catholic Cemetery should have a “Memorial to the Unborn” to remember the lives lost in their local area.

I challenge you to call your local Catholic cemetery and check to see if there is a memorial. If not, ask how much a plot costs and get a fundraiser going in your area. We have to make sure that these children are given a proper monument in what would have been their local cemetery.

2. Pray Outside a Local Abortion Provider

It is surprising how few people pray outside of Planned Parenthood or similar facilities. We have our own weekly prayer vigil and it typically involves 2-3 people on a regular basis. It is important to pray outside of an abortion provider as it is not only a public witness against what the world has accepted, but it also recognizes the women and children who have died. It is fitting to add the following prayer at the end of any rosary outside of an abortion clinic:

V. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.

R. And let the perpetual light shine upon them.

May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

3. Offer Masses for the Repose of the Souls of All Those who have Died Because of Abortion

We often forget that the unborn children who have died because of abortion are not merely a statistic. They were humans, boys and girls, who died. They have eternal souls. Let us make an effort to have our parish priest offer a Mass expressly for the repose of the souls of all those who have died because of abortion.

4.  Wear Black on January 22nd

On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, it would be most appropriate to wear black, the public symbol of mourning. It is easy to get caught up in the politics of abortion and entirely miss the grim reality: at least 58 million lives have been lost. We must recognize that fact and mourn the lives of the unborn.

5. Pray for Healing for those Suffering from Abortion

It is of utmost importance that we pray for those suffering the effects of an abortion.  Countless men and women live with interior wounds that never go away after killing a child. They need help and support, as it is important for them to finally mourn the loss of their child.

Often a vital part of healing is naming the child lost through abortion. It allows them to recognize the truth that it was not just a blob of tissue, but an unborn baby.

So let us “bury the dead” this year and be honest with the sad truth of abortion. Let us not get lost in the politics and forget what continues to happen everyday in our nation.

V. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.

R. And let the perpetual light shine upon them.

May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.