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Remembering the Holy Souls

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The month of November is dedicated to the remembrance of the Holy Souls. The All Souls Day Mass, Thursday 2 November, will be celebrated at Notre Dame de Lourdes at 8:30 a.m. A Mass of Remembrance for the recently deceased of our Parish will be celebrated at Our Lady of Peace on Sunday 5 November at 11:30 a.m. With the month of November quickly approaching it is an opportune time to review the Church’s perspective on life, death, and resurrection as stated in the Order of Christian Funerals. 

“At the death of a Christian, whose life of faith was begun in the waters of Baptism and strengthened at the Eucharistic table, the Church intercedes on behalf of the deceased because of its confident belief that death is not the end, nor does it break the bonds forged in life. The Church also ministers to the sorrowing and consoles them in the funeral rites with the comforting word of God and the sacrament of the Eucharist.” (4) 

“Christians celebrate the funeral rites to offer worship, praise, and thanksgiving to God for the gift of a life which has been returned to God, the author of life and the hope of the just. The Mass, the memorial of Christ’s death and resurrection, is the principal celebration of the Christian funeral.” (5) 

“The Church through its funeral rites commends the dead to God’s merciful love and pleads for the forgiveness of their sins. At the funeral rites, especially at the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice, the Christian community affirms and expresses the union of the Church on earth with the Church in heaven in the one great communion of saints. Though separated from the living, the dead are still at one with the community of believers on earth and benefit from their prayers and intercession. At the rite of final commendation and farewell, the community acknowledges the reality of separation and commends the deceased to God. In this way it recognizes the spiritual bond that still exists between the living and the dead and proclaims its belief that all the faithful will be raised up and reunited in the new heavens and a new earth, where death will be no more.” (6) 

The readings from Sacred Scripture are the basis of these Church teachings. 

“For if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death.” (2 Maccabees 12:44) 

“The wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, and those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever.” (Daniel 12:3) 

“Behold, I make all things new. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning, and the end. To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water.” (Revelation 21:5-6) 

“Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5) 

“Therefore, we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17) 

“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” (Matthew 5:12) 

“He has been raised; he is not here. Behold the place where they laid him.” (Mark 16.6) 

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:42-43) 

“And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day.” (John 6:39) 

“I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26) 

“Untie him and let him go.” (John 11:44) 

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) 

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