In addition to taking away those who, from our perspective, died before their time, said Father James Gardiner, the coronavirus changed the process of mourning and spiritual rituals that help with grief and healing, including for those whose loved ones have died from something other than COVID-19.
John Delendick, a longtime New York Fire Department chaplain, still recalls the 9/11 terrorist attacks vividly. That first year after the attacks, he said, he doesn’t remember how many funerals and memorial Masses he celebrated.
Immediate makeshift memorials in Las Vegas to the 58 victims killed during the Oct. 1 outdoor country music concert are being replaced by memorial services, vigils and Catholic funerals at the victims’ hometowns across the country and in Canada.
Professing belief in the resurrection of the dead and affirming that the human body is an essential part of a person’s identity, the Catholic Church insists that the bodies of the deceased be treated with respect and laid to rest in a consecrated place.