MARQUETTE — When a loved one dies, many people turn to their faith to help with the grieving process. A parish in Marquette has been providing a unique way to help celebrate the lives of those who are lost.

“It just seems like music is such a special way to touch the heart and to touch the soul that we can help bring healing and peace to those who are grieving,” said Loreene Zeno Koskey, a Choir Director at St. Michael Parish.

For over ten years, a dedicated group of parishioners at St. Michael Catholic Church have been volunteering their time to help the bereaved through song. Masses of Christian Burial often include just a cantor — or singer — and an accompanist to present a family’s chosen hymns.

The Resurrection Choir at St. Michael brings in additional parishioners to give further harmony to the celebration of eternal life.

“Sometimes, by the time our parishioners they’re in their late eighties or nineties, and really a lot of their friends are gone, and there aren’t a lot of people that come to the funeral,” said Pastoral Assistant for Liturgy Cindy Ampe. “It’s just very important to have our parish represented, and for them to know that their loved one’s life really did make a difference in our parish.”

This year has been proclaimed as a “Year of Mercy” by Pope Francis, and choir participants — along with the numerous others who serve during funerals — help show mercy and love to those who may need it most.

Cathy Savela, Altar Server and Lector, added, “I think it’s really important that we exercise Christian charity, and this is a way to do it. I think it really just adds to the whole feeling in the worship. It’s a blessing.”