All Souls Day brings to mind making trips to the cemetery as a boy to visit the graves of those who went before us. It was a time of remembering, a time of storytelling so that deceased family members lived once again in memory. The cemetery always seemed such a place of peace…a sacred space.
Our Catholic cemeteries are hallowed ground. From the days of the catacombs the bodies of Christians were considered to have been sanctified by baptism and the reception of the sacraments, and thus were to be treated with dignity and respect, as befits a “Temple of the Holy Spirit” (I Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19)
There can be no more appropriate final resting place for our beloved dead than our Catholic cemeteries and columbaria. Diocesan cemeteries all have chapels and mausoleums, and parish cemeteries and columbaria are usually adjacent to parish churches. They are places of prayer and comfort and happy memories. Burial of the body in a Catholic cemetery is a statement of faith in the resurrection of the dead at the second coming of Christ.
In the missal, the Feast of All Souls is called Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed and reminds us that praying for the dead is an ancient tradition and an act of great charity. The day is marked with prayers and Masses offered by the whole Church on behalf of all our brothers and sisters.
On All Souls Day, November 2, Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel will celebrate a Mass at the Calvary Hill Mausoleum Chapel for all those buried in our Catholic cemeteries. You are invited to join Bishop Deshotel for this liturgical celebration and pray for the beloved dead among