As of today we have been informed by the Diocese that the current suspension of all public Masses, Liturgies, etc are to continue until May 15th.

I would like however to clarify one important point: while this suspension does indeed preclude Funeral Masses in church in the usual way, it does NOT preclude the priest or deacon either praying the Committal or Burial Prayers at the cemetery or offering  those prayers and a blessing outside the church for the body on the way to the cemetery.

I have already personally offered prayers at the gravesite of three parishioners during Holy and Easter Weeks and a blessing outside the church is scheduled for this week, and a burial service in the near future.

A specific phone number is available on the Parish’s main phone number greeting message to arrange such service. The preferred way, if a loved one dies in these days, is to to arrange through your funeral director a blessing and prayers outside the church on the way to the cemetery.

If I may make a personal statement: I was quite recently distressed to hear that at least one funeral director has told a family in so many words that “St. Matthew’s isn’t doing funerals or burials” and that “someone” at the Parish told a family that our clergy won’t go to the cemeteries or do funeral prayers as described above.

This is not true, and borders on slander.

I trust this settles this grievous misinformation.

As always, and now more than ever, let us pray for each other!

Father Hewes