PRAYING FOR THE DECEASED

May 5, 2018

Saturdays of all Souls

  • Fr. Gabriel Haber, OSBM

Holy Mother Church unites everyone into one body that includes all the baptized on earth, the saints in heaven and the souls in purgatory. This body is referred to as the Communion of Saints. Our faith has deep roots, in the ancient traditions and practices of the Communion of Saints, and the Church also has long-held practices of praying for those who have passed into eternal life. If we look on our church calendar (that we receive every year from the parish) each day of the week has its own patron saint. Liturgically every Saturday is dedicated to all those who have gone to eternity, but have not yet entered into the eternal blissful rest with all the saints in heaven.

The church offers prayers and special memorial services for the faithful departed (zadushnymy or pomynal'nymy). These Saturdays include the Saturday before Meatfare Sunday, as well as the second, third and fourth Saturdays of Great Lent and the Saturday before Pentecost, when all the faithful gather at cemeteries to pray for the departed loved ones. This is a work of charity that the militant church here on earth is called to perform for the church suffering in purgatory.

On Meatfare Sunday the Church remembers the Day of the Last Judgment. That is why on the Saturday before Meatfare Sunday we pray and remember "all Christians who passed from all ages", that is, for all the faithful departed.

Great Lent is not only a time of repentance and sacrifice, but also it is a time to pray and do penance for the dead. During Great Lent, the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is celebrated so that our loved ones receive mercy and benefit from the Divine Liturgy. The second, third and fourth Saturdays of Great Lent are dedicated and fully devoted to special prayers commemorating those who have passed. (Parastas - Sorokousty).

The Saturday before Green Holidays "Pentecost," the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the fiftieth (50th) day after the Resurrection, completed the cause of the redemption of the human race and gave birth to the Church. Therefore, Holy Mother Church, wishing that the deceased be also participants in the gift of redemption, commemorates on this Saturday the deceased Christians from the beginning.

Friends, on May 19, 2018, at 2PM, which is the Saturday before Green Holiday (Pentecost), the Basilan Fathers invite you to Holy Family Cemetery to commemorate through prayer, and a memorial service, your beloved ones that have departed into eternal life. Join us as we pray for the repose of their souls.


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