OUR BELOVED DEAD
As we remember and pray for our dead at this time of year, we experience again the grief and loneliness, and we remember good times and bad, the joys and sorrows. At the last supper Jesus asked his friends to remember him. He gave them the bread and the wine saying: “this is my body, this is my blood, do this in memory of me.” We remember these words at the Consecration of each Mass. He died for all and we pray for our dead at each Mass, not just in November.
We have a sure and certain hope for ourselves and those we love. Jesus tells us he has prepared a place for each of us and will return to take us to himself, so that, as he says, “where I am you may be too.” We live in that hope, in that promise, as we pray that our beloved dead are among those of whom it is said: “They shall see the Lord face to face and his name will be written on their foreheads. It will never be night again and they will not need lamplight or sunlight, because the Lord God will be shining on them. They will reign for ever and ever.”
NOVEMBER DEDICATED AS MONTH OF PRAYER AND REMEMBRANCE
Bishop Fintan Gavin will preside at a prayer service in the Cathedral on this Sunday 1st November at 3.00 pm to dedicate November as a time of Prayer and Remembrance for those who have died and for the comfort of the bereaved. The Service itself will be live-streamed from the Cathedral on https://www.corkcathedral.ie/live-stream/, with a link also on the Diocesan website.
FEAST OF ALL SAINTS
As November 1st falls on a Sunday, the Mass of All Saints is said instead of that of the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time this weekend.
All Saints Day November 1st. Fr Donal Neary SJ
Today is the feast of All l Saints – known and unknown. We celebrate the goodness and lives of grandparents, friends, parents and all who have gone before us. It’s the feast more of the ordinary saints than of the canonised who have their feast already. Pope Francis puts it in his letter, ‘Rejoice and Be Glad’:
I like to contemplate the holiness present in those parents who raise their children with immense love, in those men and women who work hard to support their families, in the sick, in elderly religious who never lose their smile. In their daily perseverance I see the holiness of the Church militant. Very often it is a holiness found in our next-door neighbours, those who, living in our midst, reflect God’s presence. We might call them “the middle class of holiness.”
We find a holiness in all who do their best for others during the pandemic, including our health workers risking their own health for the sick.
As we look around at those near and dear to us, and at everyone we meet, we believe all of us are created in the image of God, each of us in our unique way. ‘Ordinary’ saints also had their faults and failings, and believing in the God within us helps we value them, in their weaknesses and strengths.
Being a saint means living in the spirit of Jesus, in the spirit of the Beatitudes. May we be glad to follow in his footsteps!
Saints of God, come to our aid, hasten to help us, saints of the Lord.
Donal Neary SJ, Editor Sacred Heart Messenger, www.messenge.ie
ALL SOULS DAY
Live-streamed Mass on Monday 2nd November at 10.00 am and 6.00 pm.
NOVENA FOR THE HOLY SOULS
The Annual Novena of Masses for the Holy Souls will be celebrated from Monday 2nd November to Tuesday 10th November. Envelopes for those who wish to have their dead remembered at the Novena are available in the church. These may be placed in the box at the altar rails before or during the time of the Novena.
EXPOSITION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for a time of prayer and reflection after 10.00 am Mass on each day of the Novena for the Holy Souls, concluding at 11.00 am when the church is opened for private prayer.
REMEMBRANCE WEEKEND 7th & 8th NOVEMBER
All Masses next weekend will be offered for our dead, especially those who died during the past year. These Masses will be live-streamed from our church webcam at the usual times of 6.00 pm on Saturday and on Sunday at 10.00 am and 12.00 noon. At each Mass, lighted candles (nightlights) will be placed before the altar for those who died on behalf of who have been bereaved. Special Prayers for those who died since 2nd November 2019 will also be included in Masses on the remaining weekends of November, concluding on 28th/29th.
BLESSING OF GRAVES
Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, public prayers and blessings of graves in our cemeteries cannot take place this year, but priests will do this privately and all our dead will be remembered in Masses throughout November.
People will still be able to visit the burial places of their loved ones and are encouraged to pray there alone or with others from their household.
A prayer leaflet has been made available by the Office for Mission and Ministry of the Diocese which people can use as their prayer. Copies of a version of this of this are available in our Church during the open times for private prayer, and it can be downloaded from the Diocesan Website, and printed or read on one’s device.
PLENARY INDULGENCES FOR THE DEAD
The Plenary Indulgence for the dead normally to be gained by visiting a church or oratory and there reciting one Our Father and the Apostles’ Creed between noon on November 1st and midnight on All Souls’ Day (November 2nd), may be transferred to any day in the month of November, and the plenary indulgences to be gained once per day for visiting a cemetery and praying for the dead from the 1st to the 8th November may likewise be transferred to any eight days in November, which need not be consecutive, freely chosen by the person seeking the indulgence.
Those who are elderly, sick or otherwise vulnerable and unable to leave home due to Covid-19 restrictions, may gain these indulgences by praying for the dead before an image of Jesus or of the Blessed Virgin Mary, appropriate prayers include the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet or prayers from the Office of the Dead.
The usual conditions (Sacramental Confession, reception of Holy Communion and Prayer for the Pope’s intentions) should be completed when this becomes possible.
Existing arrangements to comply with COVID-19 restrictions continue as follows as follows.
Church Open for Private Prayer
11.00 am – 6.00 pm Monday-Saturday
Live Streamed Masses:
10.00 am Monday-Saturday
6.00 pm Saturday (vigil)
10.00 am and 12.00 noon on Sunday