CBCP: Memories of dearly departed unite us

Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) – November 2, 2020 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — While the coronavirus disease 2019 prevents Catholics from visiting their deceased loved ones in cemeteries, this should not prevent them from developing a deeper experience of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, according to the Church.

In his homily yesterday coinciding with All Saints’ Day, Archdiocese of Manila apostolic administrator Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said that while the faithful are unable to visit their departed loved ones in cemeteries, it should not stop them from having a meaningful observance of the occasion.

To stem the spread of the virus, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) had ordered the closure of all cemeteries from Oct. 29 to Nov. 4.

“Our inability to go to the cemeteries at this time, deepen the meaning of our tradition for All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. This is a time when we remember our dead, who continue to unite us as one family, through our prayers to the Lord, in line with our intention to be saint-like and be together again in heaven,” Pabillo said.

In previous observances of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, Filipinos even hold family reunions at cemeteries as they pay their respects to their dead. They pray together just like one family.

Pabillo, however, said that even if they could not physically go to cemeteries, the faithful could still observe the occasion by preparing food at home and reminiscing about the lives of their dead relatives.

“Our memories about our beloved dead unite us not only with them but with each other. We could still pray together,” he said.

The prelate also encouraged the faithful to hear mass yesterday and today, All Souls’ Day since “the Holy Mass is the best prayer that we can offer.”

If they want, they could even light candles inside the churches, Pabillo said, as he explained that the lighting of candles is a symbol of our faith in God and the ardent love for our beloved dead.

He added that they have extended the period of plenary indulgence and would now cover even those visiting the cemeteries throughout November.



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