Colorful Roadside Signs Provided
- Sep. 20, 2011 - PITTSBURGH --
Author: Paul Beran, 1-888-ADVERTEL (238-3783) x107
PITTSBURGH, PA My 15-year old stepson, David, and I were driving by our local cemetery. Because I knew the cemetery regularly broadcasts “Prayer-in-
the-Air,” a ministerial message intended for families of the deceased, I tuned in to their assigned frequency while waiting for the red light to change.
Moments later, the Christian song that was playing gave way to an especially solemn instrumental version of “Amazing Grace,” and then we heard, “Here’s a tribute to… (my mom)” My mother had passed away only a few months earlier. My stepson had gotten to know my mom only briefly since she lived 3,000 miles away. Nonetheless, he heard and recognized my mom’s voice despite his unyielding efforts to rack up points on his hand-held video game. The radio recording continued, “Hi, kids. By kids, I mean Matthew, Andrew, Lynn… and David.” Just then, my stepson abruptly stopped his thumb numbing activity, raised his head up and looked at me in the driver’s seat and asked, “Did your mom just say ‘hi’ to me from Heaven?” “Yes she did, David.” I replied.
My stepson and I had just heard a short “Memorial Tribute” that airs in rotation with other segments on the Prayer-in-the-
Air program. In this case, it was a short but sweet sound-bite of my mother that I recorded a year before she passed, but for others it might have been family members sharing fond memories of their deceased loved one, or a prayer in their own words.
There’s something spiritual to hearing the sound of someone’s voice you know has died, especially when the voice is coming from the place where that person has been laid to rest. With a Memorial Tribute from Prayer-in-the Air, families can keep the memory of loved ones alive in a way never before possible.
Air, brainchild of Pittsburgh native, Paul Beran, is intended to help families and friends of the deceased through the talents of ministers, counselors, authors, musicians and celebrities, willing to contribute their skills over the airwaves to a richly targeted audience visiting the cemetery or funeral home. “Our content is mostly religious in nature. We recognize the importance of God’s presence in the families of the recently deceased during a difficult time in their lives. We help make sense of all the changes they’re facing as a result of their loved one’s passing,” reports Beran. “This is not to say we haven’t got content for secular members of our audience, too.” added Beran.
Air's low-power FM broadcast airs from participating cemeteries and funeral homes around the country with touching testimonials, professional advice, uplifting music, memorial tributes, and more. Commuters listen to this unique radio program over their car radio while visiting or driving near member cemeteries and funeral homes. They're guided where to tune by colorful roadside signage.
Air recently announced its new media partnership with the world renowned Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. With each new broadcast, they’ll include new and exclusive interviews with members of the Billy Graham organization, including classic segments by Billy Graham, himself, and Franklin Graham, his son.
Air can really touch the lives of its listeners! One widower wrote, “Your program helped me through the holidays since my wife died.” He listens every week as he visits her grave. Another family admitted Prayer-in-the-
Air was the main reason they bought their cemetery plots "pre need," as the program often reminds listeners of the advantages of making final arrangements in advance. Most listeners are family members and friends mourning over the loss of someone dear to them, and the program is there to help. Reportedly, listeners are in various stages of recovery from recent loss, to a long-time memory they intend to keep alive.
Because of Prayer-in-the-
Air’s national footprint, they have also been able to attract a variety of well-known regional and national celebrities. These have included Bishop David Zubik of the Diocese of Pittsburgh; nationally known Forensic Pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht; Jan Withers, National President of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and many others.
In Western Pennsylvania, Prayer-in-the-
Air can currently be heard 24-hours a day at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in McMurray, PA, a southern suburb of Pittsburgh, operated by The Catholic Cemeteries Association of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. “Everyone thought the program had merit and we are anxious to see how people respond to it,” according to Annabelle McGannon, CCA Executive Director. There are sixteen diocesan cemeteries in the association.
The program was first inaugurated in Western Pennsylvania, broadcasting from Jefferson Memorial Park in Pleasant Hills, PA from October 2009 to just earlier this spring when it was moved to Queen of Heaven Cemetery in McMurray, PA. Other locations include Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Florida and California.
If you are interested in creating a memorial tribute for your loved one, including a sound-bite of the deceased if available, or if you would like to recommend that your local cemetery or funeral home become a host for “Prayer-in-
the-Air,” go to www.prayerintheair.net, or contact Paul Beran at 1-888-ADVERTEL (238-3783), ext 107.
Portions of the proceeds of Prayer-in-the-
Air go toward the good works of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD.)
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