By Leslie Ann Aquino
A Catholic prelate suggested how the faithful can meaningfully observe All Saints and All Souls Day.
Included in the list of Cabanatuan Bishop Sofronio Bancud’s list is the March of Saints which he said is a “Catholic alternative” to Halloween parties.
“Instead of participating in Halloween parties where people wear scary costume everyone is encouraged, especially the youth, to join the March of Saints as participants here are dressed like that of saints,” he said in a pastoral letter.
The prelate reminded the faithful that prayer and Mass are more important to the departed than material offerings.
“It is more beneficial to them if we offer Mass, rosary, prayers and sacrifices to them. We need not give them food or drinks as they won’t benefit from this,” said Bancud.
And since the occasion also serves as a family reunion for some, he appealed to the faithful to maintain a prayerful athmosphere.
“Let us maintain the holiness of cemeteries where the dead lie,” Bancud said.
This means, he said avoiding making too much noise, drinking and playing while inside the cemetery.
Bishop Bancud issued the reminders, lamenting in the observance which are contrary to the Catholic faith.
“We all hope for a solemn and meaningful observance of these two occasions,”
All Saints’ Day is a solemn holiday commemorated annually on November 1, in honor of all the known and unknown saints of the Catholic Church.
All Souls’ Day commemorated every second of November is the Catholic day of remembrance for friends and loved ones who passed away. In the Philippines, this holiday is called “Undas”. During this time, Filipino families traditionally visit cemeteries and hold gatherings around the graves of their departed loved ones and lay out flowers and candles.
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