Sadness among older people over funeral restrictions

Bishop Ray Browne: “There has been detected among older people a sadness and concern surrounding dying and funerals”

ALL those who have died after contracting Covid-19, especially in recent weeks, were remembered and prayed for at all Masses in the Diocese of Kerry this Sunday.

Bishop of Kerry, Ray Browne, said it is important to remember, honour and pray for them, to comfort the bereaved and give assurance and comfort to those concerned that their own lives might be soon be at risk.

He urged the people of the diocese to think of other ways they can support people in the coming weeks.

“In recent weeks, there has been detected among older people a sadness and concern surrounding dying and funerals. So many deaths have occurred in the past month,” the bishop said.

He pointed out that up to Christmas Day, 85,000 people had been diagnosed as having the virus but a month later that had risen to 187,000. By Christmas Day 2,000 had died but a month later, that figure was 3,000 and it will rise further.

The bishop has encouraged the people to pray for Covid-19 victims and support their loved ones

Bishop Browne said it is sad that people have died at home, in residential care facilities and in hospitals with severe restrictions on the number of loved ones allowed to be beside their beds.

With only 10 people allowed at a funeral Mass, he said grieving loved ones were unable to have the company of relatives, neighbours and friends.

“While there have been so many negatives there have also been positives – the kindness of so many, especially nursing home and hospital staff, the technology that allows Facetime with those in homes or hospitals, people at home and abroad being able to join in funeral liturgies via webcams etc.,” Bishop Browne said.

He also acknowledged people sympathising and sending messages of comfort via internet sites and people standing outside their homes as a funeral cortege passes on the way to the church or cemetery,

Bishop Browne said what people can do in response to those in need of spiritual support in the area of dying, death and mourning, is give assurance and comfort to them and offer support.

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