Religious Mourners Face New Obstacles

Religious Mourners Face New Obstacles

( – Stay-at-home orders and social distancing are not the only inconveniences people face during the COVID-19 pandemic. Death and burial rituals have been affected as well. This is making it difficult for religious individuals to adhere to these practices.

Some Catholic Americans are struggling with questions and guilt as their loved ones fail to receive their last rites. Protestant Christians are not allowed to say goodbye in traditional church services with songs and memories celebrating the deceased’s life. Jewish and Muslim religions require that bodies be buried as soon as possible. Unfortunately, stay-at-home orders make it nearly impossible.

Even the role of a funeral director has changed. They’ve become symbolic part-time health administrators during the COVID-19 pandemic. Serving on the front lines, they ensure no more than ten people attend a funeral service and hand out gloves and masks to the few mourners saying goodbye for the last time.

Religious leaders often remind people that funerals are not for the dead; they’re for the living. Perhaps the most difficult part for mourners is not being able to grieve together or comfort one another. Many who are left behind struggle with emotional, spiritual, and psychological issues.

Religious leaders say that, after the pandemic is over, they expect a large number of memorial services will be scheduled as loved ones seek closure, comfort, and peace.

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