Remember the Dead, Offer Masses for the Souls in Purgatory
As we bring Respect Life month to a close let us not rest on our oars in building a culture of life. Our parish was actively engaged through prayers and public acts in propagating our Christian belief in the sacredness of life from conception to natural death. Once again, I am thankful for the pro-life group and the Knights who carried out public awareness acts and prayerful acts respectively. The faith we express in praying for Respect for human life we must now extend into the month of November as we pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and celebrate All Saints. Do not forget to offer masses and other forms of prayers for family members and friends who still need purification to behold God face to face. Being a Holy Day of Obligation, All Saints masses shall be offered on All-Hallows –Eve and on the actual day in our parish, please endeavor to offer prayers for your departed loved ones during this intense period of grace.
One is not oblivious to the cultural celebration of Halloween that is sometimes clouded in the spirit of unchristian supernatural characters ranging from witches to vampires, hence the need to make sure we do only what is edifying to God even as we have fun playing different characters in our choices of costumes. Halloween, in its original and proper form, is a Catholic celebration and where and when it is being hijacked by something unwholesome it is our task to reclaim its Catholic spirit for the Catholic family. There are many supernatural characters we can invoke as we pray for the dead during All Saints celebration; let parents educate their children about the amazing characters in our spiritual treasure trove. Let parents pray with their children as they go out to have fun during trick-or-treat night, help them to do all things in the spirit of Christ.
Let our prayers for the dead in the month of November reflect the prayer of the church as found in Eucharistic Prayer II: “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.” Let us remember the souls of all the faithful departed at masses and visit the cemetery to pray for them.
Do you know you can gain a plenary indulgence under the usual condition when you visit the cemetery to pray for the dead during the month of November?
In Christ’s Hope,
Fr. Bernard Oniwe, OP