Monday, March 30, 2020

non-Funerals in a time of pandemic

One of the most heart-breaking videos I've seen of the world wide virus was a priest in Italy sprinkling holy water on dozens and dozens of coffins.

That will be the funeral for those people.

As an Episcopal Priest, I fully know how cathartic funerals can be for family and loved ones. When I was at St. John's in Waterbury for 21 years, we had dozens of people join the church after coming to a funeral there.

Funerals are one of the most important things a minister or rabbi or Imam can do is preside over a funeral.

Yet, all the people dying from Corona 19 will not have a funeral in the traditional sense. People cannot gather the way they do for funerals in most places.

And for good reason--stop the spread of the virus.

A mega-church pastor in Florida was arrested this week for having services with hundreds of people.

Good for Florida.

We are doing church on-line.

But how can you do a funeral on-line?

No chance for family and loved ones to touch the casket or the urn.

No chance to hug each other and mourn.

No chance to stand by a grave and say 'good-bye'.

No chance to find closure.

Yet another painful and isolating part of this pandemic.

No funeral for grandma.

Imagine the wrenching pain of that....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.