Saint James AME Church in New Jersey Honors Dozens of Members Who Died During Covid

Sharon Carter holds a picture of Elouise Turner. Family and friends remember those from St. James AME church who died during the COVID-19 pandemic at a memorial celebration at Eagle Rock Reservation in West Orange, N.J. on Nov. 20, 2022 Ed Murray | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
Sharon Carter holds a picture of Elouise Turner. Family and friends remember those from St. James AME church who died during the COVID-19 pandemic at a memorial celebration at Eagle Rock Reservation in West Orange, N.J. on Nov. 20, 2022 Ed Murray | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

A New Jersey church held a memorial service Sunday for all of the members of the congregation who passed away while funerals could not be held due to COVID-19.

Members of the Saint James AME Church, which has locations in Newark and South Orange, gathered at the Eagle Rock Reservation Remembrance and Rebirth 9/11 Memorial Site in West Orange Sunday afternoon.

The ceremony was supposed to include a releasing of lanterns, but it was canceled due to strong winds.

More than 40 of the congregation’s members have passed away between 2020 and 2022 and could not have a proper funeral due to the restrictions the church still has in place.

“COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on the way we traditionally do things in our church,” Rev. Dr. Ronald Slaughter said. “Funerals and saying farewell to a loved one is certainly one of the celebrations COVID-19 has impacted. This Sunday Mass Memorial Celebration is our way of comforting the family members and friends of the 40 members who have passed away.”

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Source: New Jersey