November is traditionally the month of remembrance in the Catholic Church where we are given the opportunity to reflect and pray for those who are no longer with us. We are reminded of our unity with all who have died and give thanks for our loved ones who have gone before us in faith and are now entrusted to God’s loving care.
We especially remember those who have experienced the loss of a family member or friend during the past year and those who continue to grieve for loved ones.
The pandemic has posed additional challenges for grieving families throughout the year. With limits on numbers, it has been necessary for families to choose who will attend the funeral. Others will remain at home, gathered around a computer screen as the funeral is live streamed. And there are numerous accounts of families unable to visit a dying relative or friend in hospital or in an aged care facility, or even prohibited from travelling interstate for a funeral due to border closures and strict travel regulations. This has complicated participation in our customary rituals around death which nourish and support us as a faith community. Gathering and praying together, comforting one another in our grief, and afterwards telling stories and sharing hospitality. As we gradually re-open, we will no doubt hear of more experiences around grief and loss during COVID.
Our annual Remembrance Mass will be live streamed across our parishes and will take place on Friday, 13 November at 6.00 pm. Families who have held a funeral in our parishes during the year will be invited to join with the parish community virtually for the celebration of Mass. The Mass link will be provided closer to the date.
The Parish Remembrance Book will remain in our churches during the month of November. At this time the parish community will continue to remember and pray for those who have died. If you would like to record the names of deceased relatives and friends who are not already recorded in this book, please contact the Parish Office.
And in this month of November let us hold one another close in prayer as we remember our loved ones who have died, and affirm our faith, hope and trust in the promise of eternal life.
By Tricia Norman