Listen to God's voice at the foot of the crucifix." ~St. Gaspar del Bufaro~

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I Am Thankful to Remember~

For the past nine years, our parish has held a 
Service of Remembrance 
the first Sunday in November, the month dedicated to 
All Souls.
It has been an honor for me to serve on the Bereavement Ministry team 
who organizes and sets up for this beautiful event, each of these nine years.
I truly admire the ladies that make up this ministry.  They are my mentors and true living examples of how to live our Catholic faith.  When I am with them, it is like dwelling among angels!
The service is held after Sunday Mass at 3:00 PM, The Hour of Divine Mercy...
We gather together to remember and pray for...
all those who have died, especially those in the past year.
Their names are recorded in this Book of Remembrance
The names of those who have died in the last year are also read out loud during the service.
A bell is rung after the sounding of each name...Powerful, as you can imagine!

Each family comes to the altar and is given a gift from our presiding priest...
They receive a bookmark with helpful scripture for the bereaved and a candle.
The candles were made by a widow from India whom we sponsor through our Parish Mission to India.  
My husband so patiently prints out and laminates these book markers each year~God love him!
This is the front...
And this is the back...
 It is a bi-lingual service and some of my favorite hymns are played and sung by our lovely parish choir.  The hymns include Hosea, Pescador, You Are Mine, Ave Maria, and Amazing Grace.  This year I cried my eyes out during the Ave Maria, sung by a sweet friend and incredible young teen with an angelic voice!
~Five candles are lit, representing our Sadness, Courage, Memories, Love, and the Unborn~
A basket of other names, of loved ones who have died in past years, is also lifted up in prayer at the altar.  Though their names are not called out loud, we still remember.
"If love, even human love, gives so much consolation here,what will love not be in heaven?"
~St. Josemaria Escriva~
The Service closes with praying a Litany of Remembrance...
~We Remember Them~
And only by amazing grace can we go forward in peace to forever cherish our loved ones, until we meet again...
May your troubled hearts find peace and comfort in the knowledge that you are never alone.  May God's presence ease the trembling spirit, and give you rest.  
"Fear you not; for I am with you:
Be not dismayed; for I am your God.
I will strengthen you; yes,
I will help you; yes.
I will uphold you with my right hand."
~Isaiah 41:10~

I Am Thankful to Remember!

I continue to participate in the Thankful Hearts Blog Hop this month, trying to remind myself
"In all things give thanks." (Eph 5:20)
I am constantly learning that we can increase our joy in daily living, as the saints did, by letting our thoughts dwell on all that is good, especially the promise of our final redemption and salvation.

I love this quote from St. Ignatius of Antioch:
"Be eager for more frequent gatherings for thanksgiving to God and His glory.  For when we meet thus, the forces of Satan are annulled and his destructive power is cancelled in the concord of your faith."


5 comments:

  1. This sounds like such a beautiful service. Love the photos of your parish ~ beautiful! I am sure those bookmarks give lots of peace and comfort. You have a great husband :)

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  2. What a beautiful service! The bookmarks are wonderful and I love what the five candles represent! I wish my parish offered something like this, it would be such a comfort for those who are mourning!

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  3. this is a beautiful remembrance Mass you've been organizing for so many years. I have heard many times the recommendation to focus on others' troubles when we ourselves are troubled. how much peace this mus bring you to do this act of love and remembrance. I love the "Emergency Numbers" on your bookmark. so lovely. the decorations and candles are beautiful and so symbolic too.

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  4. HI Tiffany!
    WOW! How incredibly beautiful and touching! I too wish our parish would do a service like this! I love your amazing photos of your church! That's awesome that your husband participates in the "crafty" side of things! Thanks for linking up again to the Thankful Hearts Blog Hop, for you have lots to be thankful for and I appreciate you sharing your blessings with us!
    Tracy at A Slice of Smith Life

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