Last Monday (31st October), we celebrated Mass in conjunction with the closing of the Rosary month. Thank you my dear BEC leaders and your coordinators for tirelessly visiting and praying the rosary in your respective BECs during the month of October. Thank you once again for being so hospitable, accommodating and in welcoming one another to each other’s homes for the Rosary.
We have now entered the month of November, which is the last month of the liturgical year for the year 2016. We began the month with two important commemorations: All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. What is the purpose of these commemorations? The Catholic Church invites us to rediscover and contemplate the nature of our Christian faith on the END TIMES and LAST THINGS (Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell). There is also an intermediate state called purgatory. When this purification is complete, the souls are fit to enter God’s presence and are admitted to the joys of heaven.
I believe some of you have visited the graves of your loved ones since last weekend or on All Souls’ Day itself. If you have not visited yet or if you want to do it again I encourage you to do so during this month of November. It will be good for you to go and clean your loved one’s grave and then place your candles or flowers as a sign of honour and respect for them.
While you are spending time praying at the grave of your loved ones, if possible do try and share your memories of your dearly departed ones with your family and friends either at the cemetery or once you’re back home. Your visit, your prayers and sharing will help you feel connected to the person you have lost. If you are unable to visit the graves of your loved ones for whatever reasons, you can ask someone in your family or your friend to do so on your behalf. By remembering them during this month I am sure you will find a sense of calm, comfort and peace.
In the last one month I requested all of you to list down the names of your dearly departed family members and friends in the “Book of Remembrance.” There are all altogether 4,410 names listed in the book which has been placed at the side of the main altar since 2nd November. We shall continue to offer their names in all our Masses and prayers throughout this month.
At your home you can always prepare a small poster with the names of all your loved ones’ – departed family and friends. On your personal and family level, offer extra prayers or pray your rosary for the deceased members of your family and friends and for the forgotten souls in purgatory. When you do all these for the departed souls, they will intercede on your behalf after they reach heaven.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls rest in peace. Amen. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Fr. George Packiasamy.