Toussaint and the Association of Catholic Cemeteries
On the Day of the Dead, not only do we remember the dead, but we apply our efforts, through prayer, alms and Mass, to their liberation from Purgatory.
There is nothing more important to the Association of Catholic Cemeteries than the health and well-being of the families we serve, as well as our own families and friends. Hundreds of you have gathered with us each year at the Mausoleum Chapel of the Holy Cross in Malden or the Mausoleum Chapel of Calvary in Waltham for our annual All Souls Mass. In our concern for the health and safety of all, we will not celebrate our annual mass. .
The month of November, including All Saints and All Saints, is a special time in the Church calendar. The faithful are encouraged to remember their beloved dead in the prayers, scriptures, and special celebrations of this time of the liturgical year. They are invited to visit the resting places of their beloved dead, to inscribe the names of their loved ones in the Book of the Names of the Dead, and to pray at all times for the rest of souls not only of their own well-dead. loved. but also all the faithful who have gone to rest in the hope of getting up, including those who have no one to pray for them. We celebrate in fellowship with all the angels and saints and the fellowship of believers who have come before us in death.
The Catholic Cemetery serves the Catholic faithful and the community at large as a place of peace and prayer, where the tradition of the Catholic Christian faith and the resting places of the dead are kept in sacred trust.
This All Souls celebration promises to be a joyful and thoughtful memory. We hope you will join us virtually and, more importantly, spiritually, as we pray for those who have come before us.
Often eclipsed by the two days before it, Halloween (October 31) and All Saints (November 1), All Saints’ Day is a solemn feast in the Catholic Church commemorating all those who have died and are now in Purgatory, being cleansed of their venial sins and temporal punishments for mortal sins they had confessed and atoned for before fully entering Heaven.
The importance of the feast of the dead was clearly highlighted by Pope Benedict XV (1914-1922), when he granted all priests the privilege of celebrating three masses on the day of the dead: one for the faithful deceased. ; one for the priest’s intentions; and one for the intentions of the Holy Father. It is only on a handful of other very important feast days that priests are allowed to celebrate more than two Masses.
While All Saints ‘Day is now associated with All Saints’ Day, which celebrates all the faithful who are in Heaven, it was originally celebrated during the Easter season, around Pentecost Sunday (and still is in Eastern Catholic Churches. ). By the 10th century, the celebration had been moved to October; and between 998 and 1030, Saint Odilon de Cluny decreed that it should be celebrated on November 2 in all the monasteries of his Benedictine congregation. Over the next two centuries, other Benedictines and Carthusians began to celebrate it in their monasteries as well, and soon it spread to the whole Church.
On the Day of the Dead, not only do we remember the dead, but we apply our efforts, through prayer, alms and Mass, to their liberation from Purgatory. There are two plenary indulgences attached to the Feast of the Dead, one for visiting a church and another for visiting a cemetery. (Plenary indulgence to visit a cemetery can also be obtained daily from November 1 to 8, and as a partial indulgence any day of the year.) While actions are performed by the living , the merits of indulgences apply only to souls in purgatory.
Praying for the dead is a Christian obligation. In the modern world, as many have come to doubt the Church’s teaching on purgatory, the need for such prayers has only increased. The Church dedicates the month of November to prayer for holy souls in Purgatory, and attending All Saints’ Mass is a good way to start the month.
For more information on future Masses, our cemeteries, or the Catholic Cemeteries Association, please contact me, Jim Brasco, or one of our excellent Family Services Coordinators at 781-322-3600 or visit www.ccemetery. org.
JIM BRASCO IS THE DIRECTOR OF CATHOLIC FAMILY AWARENESS FOR THE ASSOCIATION OF CATHOLIC CEMETERIES OF THE ARCHIDIOCES OF BOSTON.
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