The entire Church pauses today to remember the dead. We remember those long forgotten, those who have been commended to the Lord many years ago, and those who have most recently died. This past year we have seen the passing of many dear friends and members of this parish family. Funeral Masses have been celebrated over 65 times in our Church this past year. And while the comforting rituals of burial restore some order to our lives, each celebration has been marked both with the profound sadness of loss and the Paschal Hope of the Resurrection.
During the Season of Lent, we often gather to publicly pray the Stations of the Cross. There is always a reading which explains the station, a sung acclamation which proclaims our hope, “Dying you destroyed our death, rising you restore our life, Lord Jesus come in glory,” and a Collect lead by the presider. At the Fourteenth Station, when the body of Jesus is placed into the tomb, we pray:
“Let the dead bury the dead,” your Son told us, O God. And we know that Joseph’s chest was as heavy with sorrow as were his hands with Christ’s lifeless body. And we grieve to think of Magdalen’s numb heart, she who loved him like no other. Give us the fortitude to wait outside the tomb whenever one whom we love rests inside. And bring to perpetual light and peace all whom we have buried from this church this year.
Thus is our prayer this day. As we have been touched with sorrow, we have also been greatly blessed with joyful hope.
Once again, many, many thanks to all who worked so hard to make our annual Fall Festival such a great success! Each year I say that it was the best ever and this year it is especially true! Special thanks to Pete Stauder, Michelle Benigno, Deacon Rafael Gonzalez, and Bryan Hayes for serving as the overall chairpersons, and to all who have made this great endeavor possible! You all outdid yourselves!
May the week ahead be filled with countless graces and blessings!