Ministering to Victims of Violent Crime
The numbers who can attend a funeral service in person are limited and friends and extended family members may not be able to comfort each other or express their grief due to social distancing restrictions. We have put together some guidance for talking to children about funerals, explaining why they might not be able to attend a funeral and suggestions for alternative ways to say goodbye during this period. Should children attend funerals during the coronavirus lockdown? Our guidance and suggestions are always offered in that context, and based on what we have learnt from listening to and supporting thousands of children and young people across the years.
We have spoken to children who chose to attend the funeral of someone important and were glad they did. We have spoken to children who chose not to attend and had no regrets. How has coronavirus affected funerals and the ability to say goodbye? Children may want to see the body of the person who died: to say a final goodbye, to begin to understand the reality of death, to express their loved one last time.
Advice around funerals is constantly changing, you can find the latest advice here: nafdcovid Different rules also affect viewing the body of the person who died at a funeral home. These arrangements are constantly changing based on government guidelines during the COVID pandemic.
One of the things that has changed is how we can hold a funeral. A good start is to acknowledge that things will need to be different but will still be full of meaning and depth. Read more How to tell a child or young person that someone has died from coronavirus What about memorial services?
Some people are already planning to hold memorial services at a later date for people who die during this period. A memorial service can be planned slowly, with input from children and young people, and can provide a helpful opportunity to remember and celebrate the person who lived as well as mourn the person who died.
This also gives people time to jot down a few memories and stories on postcards or Post-It notes or share electronically and to find some old photographs to bring to share with children — either then or at a later time.
Can I attend the funeral of someone who died because of coronavirus? If the family and the child wanted to see the body of the person who died, but this is not possible because of the new rules in response to coronavirus COVID , there are some alternatives that can help.
For example, if one person can attend, they can explain in detail to the children what the person looks like and where their body is being looked after. If no-one is allowed to attend, a funeral director can describe the surroundings to an adult to then share with children. The room was painted pale green and there was a vase of flowers beside her. Her skin felt cold but otherwise she looked just like Granny did when she was alive.
Funeral directors can also personalise the closed casket with, for example, a photograph of the deceased. If the child or young person is not able to attend the funeral, there are several ways to still make the experience special and deeply meaningful.
This could be at the same time, or later when the relative who attend the funeral can share what happened as the family follows the service together. Some places of worship and crematoria are live streaming funerals so people can watch online from home. It may be that family members cannot be in the same location but want to be together for the funeral so you could video call each other. Photographs can be taken to show children and young people to help them understand what happens at a funeral.
Photographs that are helpful include: the outside of the place where the funeral is being held; the hearse; the coffin or equivalent ; any flowers or decoration; the interior of the place with permission. Keepsakes from the funeral service can be very meaningful for children. For example, some flowers from the tributes to press and keep; a leaf from one of the trees in the grounds; a pebble from the surrounding area; the order of service.
Children can participate by contributing to some of the choices within the ceremony. For example, they could choose a piece of music, select a poem, or suggest flowers. They could also write a tribute to the person who died which can be read by the person taking the service or by whoever is able to attend. Funeral arrangers and celebrants will do all they can to continue to make funerals as personal as possible; they might be able, for example, to dress in bright colours, wear a football shirt, have a special flower in their buttonhole.
Coffins may still be able to be personalised. Read more Alternative ways to say goodbye How can friends and family help a bereaved child or young person? The wider family and friends may be feeling especially helpless to support the bereaved family from a distance.
As well as sending thoughts and keeping in touch, sharing memories of the person who died is a practical and important way to help.
These can be shared at the time of the funeral and also kept as a store of memories for the children to explore over time. You can set up an online tribute fund to remotely post pictures, videos or music, light a candle or share memories. For more information please visit our Tributes page. What about observing faith and cultural practices during the coronavirus pandemic?
It will be particularly difficult for children and young people whose culture or faith requires certain practices to be performed in particular ways for the person who has died.
Churches, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship are closed to the public although faith leaders can still conduct services in places such as a crematorium or graveside.
Children and young people may believe that their loved one has not been treated appropriately and may need reassurance, using the language of faith, that everything that is being done is respectful and necessary. How might children and young people react? Young people may feel they are letting down a relative or friend if they are not present at the funeral.
Younger children may find it even harder to understand what has happened without the chance of observing the funeral. How can you support a bereaved child or young person at this time? Keep talking and keep listening to what children are saying about not being able to attend the funeral Acknowledge that this is a strange and difficult time, even without the restrictions cause by the virus; children will be relieved to have their concerns noticed.
Below are links to articles with suggestions on how to explain funerals, burials and cremations. Reassure children. Reassure them that their relative knew they were loved and cared for… and not attending the funeral is the right thing to do at this time. Reach out for support. We have many resources on our website to help parents and carers support grieving children. To protect our staff, our Helpline is currently operating a remote service, we ask that you leave a message on our answering machine and one of our experienced practitioners will call you back.
Look after yourself. Simply doing the best you can at this time is all that your children need. Take time to look after yourself too. Other articles you might find helpful.
Homily of Bishop Daly at funeral Mass of Lawrence McElhinney
The choice of speaker was no surprise. Martin Luther King Jr. Our friendship goes back to his student days at Morehouse. It is not an easy task; nevertheless I accept it, with a sad heart and with full knowledge of my inadequacy to do justice to this man. It was my desire that if I predeceased Dr. King, he would pay tribute to me on my final day.
It was his wish that if he predeceased me, I would deliver the homily at his funeral. Fate has decreed that I eulogize him. I wish it might have been otherwise; for, after all I am three score years and 10 and Martin Luther is dead at Although there are some who rejoice in his death, there are millions across the length and breadth of this world who are smitten with grief that this friend of mankind — all mankind — has been cut down in the flower of his youth.
So, multitudes here and in foreign lands, queens, kings, heads of governments, the clergy of the world, and the common man everywhere, are praying that God will be with the family, the American people, and the president of the United States in this tragic hour.
We hope that this universal concern will bring comfort to the family — for grief is like a heavy load: when shared it is easier to bear. We come today to help the family carry the load. We have assembled here from every section of this great nation and from other parts of the world to give thanks to God that He gave to America, at this moment in history, Martin Luther King Jr. Truly God is no respecter of persons.
How strange! Here was a man who believed with all of his might that the pursuit of violence at any time is ethically and morally wrong; that God and the moral weight of the universe are against it; that violence is self-defeating; and that only love and forgiveness can break the vicious circle of revenge.
He believed that nonviolence would prove effective in the abolition of injustice in politics, in economics, in education, and in race relations. He was convinced, also, that people could not be moved to abolish voluntarily the inhumanity of man to man by mere persuasion and pleading, but that they could be moved to do so by dramatizing the evil through massive nonviolent resistance.
He believed that nonviolent direct action was necessary to supplement the nonviolent victories won in federal courts. He believed that the nonviolent approach to solving social problems would ultimately prove to be redemptive. Out of this conviction, history records the marches in Montgomery, Birmingham, Selma, Chicago and other cities. He gave people an ethical and moral way to engage in activities designed to perfect social change without bloodshed and violence; and when violence did erupt it was that which is potential in any protest which aims to uproot deeply entrenched wrongs.
No reasonable person would deny that the activities and the personality of Martin Luther King Jr. He believed that the walls of separation brought on by legal and de facto segregation, and discrimination based on race and color, could be eradicated. He died striving to desegregate and integrate America to the end that this great nation of ours, born in revolution and blood, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created free and equal, will truly become the lighthouse of freedom where none will be denied because his skin is black and none favored because his eyes are blue; where our nation will be militarily strong but perpetually at peace; economically secure but just; learned but wise; where the poorest — the garbage collectors — will have bread enough and to spare; where no one will be poorly housed; each educated up to his capacity; and where the richest will understand the meaning of empathy.
This was his dream, and the end toward which he strove. Moral courage was one of his noblest virtues. And he had the faith to believe that he would win the battle for social justice. I make bold to assert that it took more courage for King to practice nonviolence than it took his assassin to fire the fatal shot. The assassin is a coward: He committed his dastardly deed and fled.
When Martin Luther disobeyed an unjust law, he accepted the consequences of his actions. He never ran away and he never begged for mercy. He returned to the Birmingham jail to serve his time. Perhaps he was more courageous than soldiers who fight and die on the battlefield. There is an element of compulsion in their dying. But when Martin Luther faced death again and again, and finally embraced it, there was no external pressure.
He was acting on an inner compulsion that drove him on. More courageous than those who advocate violence as a way out, for they carry weapons of destruction for defense. But Martin Luther faced the dogs, the police, jail, heavy criticism, and finally death; and he never carried a gun, not even a knife to defend himself. Though deeply committed to a program of freedom for Negroes, he had love and concern for all kinds of peoples.
He drew no distinction between the high and low; none between the rich and the poor. He believed especially that he was sent to champion the cause of the man farthest down. He would probably say that if death had to come, I am sure there was no greater cause to die for than fighting to get a just wage for garbage collectors. He was supra-race, supra-nation, supra-denomination, supra-class and supra-culture.
He belonged to the world and to mankind. Now he belongs to posterity. But there is a dichotomy in all this. This man was loved by some and hated by others. If any man knew the meaning of suffering, King knew. House bombed; living day by day for 13 years under constant threats of death; maliciously accused of being a Communist; falsely accused of being insincere and seeking limelight for his own glory; stabbed by a member of his own race; slugged in a hotel lobby; jailed 30 times; occasionally deeply hurt because his friends betrayed him — and yet this man had no bitterness in his heart, no rancor in his soul, no revenge in his mind; and he went up and down the length and breadth of this world preaching nonviolence and the redemptive power of love.
He believed with all of his heart, mind and soul that the way to peace and brotherhood is through nonviolence, love and suffering. He was severely criticized for his opposition to the war in Vietnam. It must be said, however, that one could hardly expect a prophet of Dr. Nonviolence to King was total commitment not only in solving the problems of race in the United States, but the problems of the world.
Surely this man was called of God to do this work. If Amos and Micah were prophets in the eighth century B. If Isaiah was called of God to prophesy in his day, Martin Luther was called of God to prophesy in his time. If Hosea was sent to preach love and forgiveness centuries ago, Martin Luther was sent to expound the doctrine of nonviolence and forgiveness in the third quarter of the 20th century.
If Jesus was called to preach the Gospel to the poor, Martin Luther was called to give dignity to the common man. If a prophet is one who interprets in clear and intelligible language the will of God, Martin Luther King Jr.
If a prophet is one who does not seek popular causes to espouse, but rather the causes he thinks are right, Martin Luther qualified on that score. He was not ahead of his time. No man is ahead of his time. Every man is within his star, each in his time. Jesus had to respond to the call of God in the first century A. He had but one life to live. How long do you think Jesus would have had to wait for the constituted authorities to accept him?
Twenty-five years? A hundred years? A thousand? He died at They had to act in their lifetimes. With them the time was always ripe to do that which was right and that which needed to be done. Too bad, you say, that Martin Luther King Jr. I feel that way, too. We all pray that the assassin will be apprehended and brought to justice.
The assassin heard enough condemnation of King and of Negroes to feel that he had public support. He knew that millions hated King. The strike should have been settled several weeks ago. The lowest paid men in our society should not have to strike for a more just wage. A century after Emancipation, and after the enactment of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, it should not have been necessary for Martin Luther King Jr.
We, too, are guilty of murder. It is time for the American people to repent and make democracy equally applicable to all Americans. What can we do? We, and not the assassin, represent America at its best.
We have the power — not the prejudiced, not the assassin — to make things right. If we love Martin Luther King Jr. Violence was foreign to his nature. He warned that continued riots could produce a fascist state. But let us see to it also that the conditions that cause riots are promptly removed, as the president of the United States is trying to get us to do so. Let black and white alike search their hearts; and if there be prejudice in our hearts against any racial or ethnic group, let us exterminate it and let us pray, as Martin Luther King Jr.
I close by saying to you what Martin Luther King Jr. Copyright by Benjamin E. Used by permission of the University of Georgia Press.
Nora Quoirin Funeral Photos + Full Transcript of the Homily [UPDATED]
They should be avoided.
Gratteri told the National Post. Article content In Sicily, the birthplace of Mr. Monsignor Igino Incantalupo, who conducted the service for Mr. Rizzuto and a similar funeral in for Mr. Now, I know that everyone is not in agreement with that but the church cannot refuse a baptized person. I always referred to him as my best friend but that never seemed quite right.
I would come into the room for a chat and his immediate reaction was to reach into his drawer and throw a chocolate bar at me.
I moved abroad but we still stayed in touch every single day. The dynamics of our friendship never changed, no matter where we were in our lives. I love you. The double suicide-murder happened at Assolas, about four miles from the north Cork market town of Kanturk and two miles from Castlemagner village, where the family was deeply integrated into the local community.
It was etched on his mind for the rest of his life. He wrote his gospel many years afterwards and he recounted that day on Calvary. He describes the cruelty of it all, the deliberate humiliation of Jesus, the way he was scoffed at by Pilate and his soldiers.
They could not even bring themselves to respect Jesus in death.
Coronavirus: How to say goodbye when a funeral isn’t possible
And then John writes about Mary, the mother of Jesus and her profound grief as she stood by helplessly witnessing the murder of her son. Those last moments of Jesus feature in the Stations of the Cross which are mounted on the walls of almost every Catholic Church. As well as a reminder of the Passion of Christ, they offer a powerful reflection on the suffering of so many bereaved families down through the centuries.
Lawrence McElhinney was the last surviving parent of the people who were murdered on Bloody Sunday. For the last 39 years, he has lived with the grief of the murder of his son, Kevin. I often feel that not enough attention has been paid to the parents of the many victims of our conflict here. The grief of a parent who loses a son or daughter is a particular kind of grief.
It is not in the natural scheme of things that a son or daughter should die before a parent. It is a certainly not in the natural scheme of things that a parent should experience the murder or violent death of their son or daughter.