November is the month when Catholics focus more intently on praying for the faithful departed.
We begin November with the celebration of the Solemnity of All Saints, a holy day of obligation honoring all those faithful souls in heaven.
The following day we observe the Commemoration of All Souls. The celebration of Mass is the highest charitable act the church can perform for the dead. In addition, we can help the souls in purgatory through our prayers, sufferings and penances. All are done with the hope that these deeds will aid the poor souls in purgatory and help them to be united with the saints in heaven.
In 1978, the Catholic Cemetery Conference designated Catholic Cemetery Sunday as the first Sunday in November. This day provides us with another opportunity during November to perform a charitable deed for the dead and to practice the spiritual work of mercy by praying for our dearly departed loved ones. We invite you to visit one of our cemeteries on Nov. 4 in recognition of Catholic Cemetery Sunday.
Marianne Linka, director of Cemeteries for the Diocese, explains, “South Jersey Catholic Cemeteries’ mission is to perform the corporal work of mercy by caring for and sacredly burying the dead while bringing comfort to the grieving.
“Additionally, we pray for the souls of the faithful departed that they may find eternal peace with God our Father. We encourage all families to visit our cemeteries on Nov. 4.”
Prayer cards are available at the parishes, cemetery chapel mausoleums and cemetery offices.
In addition to Catholic Cemetery Sunday, Mass for All Souls will be held at many of our cemeteries on Nov. 2 at our chapel mausoleums. Additionally, Mass is said for the faithful departed four times during the year at many of our cemetery chapel mausoleums. All are invited to attend.
For directions, event information or news, please visit SouthJerseyCatholicCemeteries.org or call 855-697-7375.
Debra A. Moore is Cemetery Marketing and Events Coordinator, Diocese of Camden.