BARNEGAT, NJ -  In the wake of the coronavirus crisis and state shutdown, local members of the Catholic faith join others in their frustration. Open casket viewings are forbidden by state laws. Churches have been closed.  For Catholics, the grieving process includes gathering for a funeral mass to pray for the soul of their lost loved one.   St. Mary's Parish has decided to offer some comfort to local parishioners. On Wednesday, May 20 at 7:00pm., the church will honor the recently deceased in a special Lazarus Memorial Mass. 

According to the parish bulletin, the special mass is designed to honor those who died and were unable to have a funeral mass. The circumstances remain the same whether the deceased died of COVID-19 or some other cause.

In order to have someone's name added to the memorial mass offering, family members should contact the church. Once restrictions are lifted, St. Mary's will help families schedule individual memorial masses for those who wish to offer prayers for the soul of their loved one.

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St Mary's can be contacted by telephone at 609 698-5531.  Their website is and has a direct link to enter the names of loved ones who have recently passed and not had the benefit of a funeral mass.

The church reopened for private prayer as of this past Wednesday. In Barnegat, the hours are Wednesday-Friday from 10 am until 3 pm.  Saturday and Sunday, private prayer is available at the Barnegat parish from noon until 2 pm.

Those who wish to stop into St, Mary's of the Pines may visit from 11 am until 1 pm.

Only ten people are permitted into the church at one time and must follow six feet social distancing requirements. Further instructions may be reviewed here.