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How to safely honor the dead amid the pandemic

By PhilSTAR L!fe Published Nov 02, 2020 4:33 am

The COVID-19 pandemic may have prevented us from paying a visit to our departed loved ones, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be creative on how to pay our respects.

In fact, this year is not the first time that people are commemorating All Souls Day away from their dead relatives according to Teresa Berger, professor of liturgical studies and Catholic theology at Yale Divinity School.  

“I think it is important to remember that many, many people before us – and around us too, if we look globally – have not had the possibility of burying and mourning their dead in peace and safety,” Berger said in an interview with U.S. News last April. “Think of such situations as war, genocide, mass migrations or natural disasters. In all these situations, people were forced to adapt or even forego established practices of mourning, honoring and burying the dead.”

PhilSTAR Life rounded up ways on how people could show their respect to their dearly departed conveniently and safely online.

1. Visit the cemetery online

Even if you are from Batanes, you can now visit your dead loved ones from as far as Jolo, all thanks to Google Maps. If you don’t have the app yet, simply go to maps.google.com.ph, then search for the cemetery where your relative’s tomb is located. Enable the Globe 3D view to see it as if you are actually there.

Another option is through the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Undas Online platform, which has Google Maps embedded on its homepage.

2. Send flowers

Himlayang Pilipino offers Virtual Dalaw, wherein you can have flowers delivered to the tomb of your loved one for P300-P1,500 until November 2. Additional services include tomb blessing (P150) and cleaning (P200). Click here to contact their office. Otherwise, you can opt for your trusty 'pasa-buy' or delivery services provider.

3. Online prayer requests

Aside from a virtual tour to your departed loved ones’ resting place, CBCP’s Undas Online allows you to offer mass intentions for the dead until November 8.

Simply head over to the Undas Online website and fill out the form under the ‘Prayer Requests’ tab. You can also send donations of any amount on the page or email [email protected].

4. Say a prayer and light a candle

Saying a simple yet heartfelt prayer would always be one of the best ways in letting your loved ones know that they are always remembered. You can also pair it with flowers or your loved ones’ favorite food and beverage, like what some people traditionally do.

No matter what way you prefer to celebrate their day, always remember that sending them love doesn’t have to start and end only on this day.

Photos from Himlayang Pilipino Facebook page, Unsplash, and Shutterstock.