PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Coronavirus pandemic has presented many challenges no one saw coming. One of which was how to say goodbye to loved ones.
For many, that wasn’t possible with gathering limitations and restrictions.
On Sunday, the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh held a memorial Mass for members of the church community who died during the pandemic.
Hundreds of names sat before the altar as Bishop David Zubik performed the Mass.
“This is meant to be a time of consolation and comfort for everybody as we celebrate this Mass for all those people,” Bishop Zubik said.
Many of those that passed away were not able to have a funeral Mass because of the Coronavirus lockdown. Bishop Zubik said it was spiritually one of the harder parts of the pandemic. Priests are now working with families to plan individual memorial Masses.
“We look for lots of different ways in which we can walk with them, and that’s what we’re trying to do here today,” Bishop Zubik said.
The staff at the Catholic Cemeteries Association came up with the idea of a Mass after doing a survey with visitors. More than 800 names were submitted for the service.
In his personal life, he has felt the loss that comes with losing a loved one.
He knows people can feel alone during this time of grieve and hoped the message of Sunday’s Mass allowed them to see they are surrounded by love.
“I hope folks connecting with us in Mass are not alone. They are so many other people who have the same feelings they do,” the bishop told KDKA.
They picked today because one of the mass readings from the Bible addressed the topic of death.
“If Christ has died for us, now we have eternal life. It comes from Paul’s letter to the Romans,” Bishop Zubik said.
The dioceses are continuing funeral masses with limitations on size and gathering places.