I have known Michael and Ken for years in the wedding industry as we are fellow wedding officiants. When my grandfather died unexpectedly during this COVID19 crisis I found out just how hard it is to deal with the *Catholic Church in the time of a pandemic.
My grandfather had always requested that he have a full *Catholic Mass for his funeral. When I called his church and explained that we needed to be able to Zoom the *Catholic Mass for our family in Ireland, they refused. I called a few other parishes before I realized that the *Catholic Church was not going to be adapting for the pandemic.
As I said, I knew Michael and Ken as I had referred weddings to them before. When they learned of my grandfather’s passing they were kind enough to email me to offer condolences. That is when it hit me – ask Michael and Ken to help!
I had already planned to officiate a celebration of life for him but we still had not solved for the *Catholic Mass. When I asked them there was no hesitation. They were so eager to assist me and to make it perfect. They even let me take a look at the ceremony script beforehand so that my family members could make edits.
Michael and Ken were such a Godsend, a true blessing! They helped me arrange a full funeral service, with *Catholic Mass and a celebration of life, in 21 hours!!! In less than a day we were all together, across 3 continents and 7 different time zones, for a live *Catholic Funeral on ZOOM!
I cannot thank you both enough, on behalf of my whole family. As I said at the end of the service, “at a time when it is virtually impossible to have a *Catholic funeral, you made it possible- virtually!”
So many family members shared with me afterwards how moved they were by the experience that I am already in contact with them about offering these for our clients in the future. It is my true wish that all those who are experiencing the loss of a loved one in this time, still be able to make meaningful rituals to celebrate and mourn our loved ones with respect and dignity. I look forward to working with Michael and Ken to fulfill this wish in the near future!
Rev. Laura Cannon
*Note: *Catholic: independent non-roman catholic rite Mass