By Ann Marie Foley - 19 November, 2014
The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC) introduced the Mass last year and the host church was filled to capacity.
This year, the Mass will conclude the month of the Holy Souls, and will include music by the St James Choir from Ballinora, which sings as a backing choir with Liam Lawton from time to time.
“We have benefactors who support us and fund our missionary priests on the mission fields. Every November we have a novena for the holy souls for our benefactors. Last year’s Mass was a way to close the month. We candlelit the church and it was very well received,” Ashley Hennessy told CatholicIreland.net.
“This year we will stream it live on our website so our benefactors and our missionaries worldwide can tune into the event.”
November is the month of the Holy Souls and a time when Catholics remember the dead.
Many churches and missionary societies offer the faithful an opportunity write the names of deceased loved ones on the ‘altar list of the dead’ to be prayed for during novenas and at Masses throughout the month.
At the Mass on 29 November in the Sacred Heart Church, Western Road, Cork, the church will be filled with candlelight from church candles in lanterns and candle holders of various sizes, candelabras and tea-light candles, placed throughout the church.
“The Light Up a Memory Mass is an opportunity to remember with fondness and affection those who are no longer with us, and a light is a unique gift in honour of someone special, a loved one who is in your thoughts as the light that shines becomes an inspiring beacon of remembrance and reflection for you,” Fr Michael O’Connell MSC, Director of the MSC Mission Support Centre, explained.
There are secular candlelight memorials to fundraise, but the Catholic tradition is rich in religious and human symbolism.
Every diocese and parish in the country is remembering their dead this month with Masses and prayer services both in churches and at graveyards.
On the Feast of All Souls, Pope Francis called for prayers for forgotten souls, as well as Christians who have died for their faith and in the service of others over the past year.
Praying for the departed is part of the tradition of the Church, Pope Francis said, especially through a Eucharistic celebration.
“The foundation of prayer for the intercession of souls is found in the communion of the Mystical Body,” he stated, quoting Lumen Gentium.
“Fully conscious of this communion of the whole Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, the pilgrim Church from the very first ages of the Christian religion has cultivated with great piety the memory of the dead.”
The practice of remembering the dead, caring for their graves, and offering intercessory prayers, Pope Francis said, gives testimony of the “certain hope” which has “take root in the certainty that death is not the last word.”
He also said that the Church, “like Jesus, shares the tears of those who suffer the separation of beloved persons, and like him and thanks to him echo the gratitude toward the Father who has liberated us from the dominion of sin and death.”