Out of Love, Let's Honor All Saints, and Pray for All Souls
All SAINTS falls on Monday this year, so it is not observed as a holy day of obligation. There is no obligation to attend All Saints mass this year but we nevertheless celebrate it by offering masses at 7 am (in the historic church) and 6 pm. As a church, we remember and honor all saints who intercede on our behalf before God, especially many saints and martyrs whose names are not inscribed in the canon of saints. Relic of St. Peter, our parish patron saint, will be carried in the opening procession of Masses this Monday and exposed in the sanctuary afterward for public veneration.
Tuesday, November 2, is the commemoration of All the Faithful departed, otherwise known as All Souls’ Day. The month of November is a traditional time in the church for visiting graves of loved ones and offering suffrages for the dead. Let our prayers for the dead, especially throughout November, echo the church’s prayer: “Remember also our brothers and sisters who have fallen asleep in the hope of resurrection, and all who have died in your mercy; welcome them to the light of your face” (Eucharistic Prayer II).
We have a number of our parishioners who passed away this year that we shall pray for on All Souls' day and in a more elaborate way, at 4:00pm Mass on Saturday, November 6. As a parish, we will also have a solemn commemoration of our departed brothers and sisters whose bodies lie in our cemetery after the morning mass on All Souls Day. The morning mass on All Souls' day on Tuesday will be followed by a visit to the cemetery where we shall have a short service in their honor. All are encouraged to attend this brief ceremony.
Do you know you can gain a plenary indulgence under the usual condition when you visit the cemetery to pray for the dead during November? Jesus tells us in this Sunday’s Mass Gospel according to Mark, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mk. 12: 31). Praying for the dead, especially offering masses for the repose of their souls, is one way we can practically express our love for our brothers and sisters who have passed on.
In Christ, the Risen Lord,
Fr. Bernard Oniwe, OP