Milagres Parish Remembers Loved Ones Who Have Departed the Earth, but Not Our Hearts
- Milagres Parish Remembers Loved Ones Who Have Departed the Earth, but Not Our Hearts on ‘ALL SOULS DAY’! .
Mangaluru: All Souls’ Day is a celebration to remember those who have died (in particular one’s relatives). It always falls on November 2 and is preceded by Halloween on October 31 and All Saints’ Day on November 1. Together these three days of remembrance of the dead form the triduum (a religious observance lasting three days) of Hallowtide or Allhallowtide. People traditionally visit the graves of deceased relatives during this time. Known liturgically as the “Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed”, All Souls’ Day is often seen as a continuation and extension of the All Saints’ Day celebrations conducted the day before. While All Saints’ Day is dedicated to those who are in heaven, All Souls’ Day is a day of prayer for those who have died but have not yet reached heaven. The custom of placing lit candles on the graves of deceased relatives on All Saints’ Day often continues into All Souls’ Day.
After the celebration of All Saints day, the church remembers all our departed brothers and sisters and prays for them in a special way. The dead cannot pray for themselves and they need our prayers. Our prayers are the only way we still remain connected to our near and dear ones who have gone before us. The Catechism of the Catholic church teaches us that, “Death is the end of man’s earthly pilgrimage, of the time of grace and mercy which God offers him so as to work out his earthly life in keeping with the divine plan, and to decide his ultimate destiny.
When “the single course of our earthly life” is completed,584 we shall not return to other earthly lives: “It is appointed for men to die once.” There is no “reincarnation” after death.” CCC 1013. All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. CCC 1030-31. It is for these that we pray on this special day, that God may be merciful to them and grant them the eternal reward.
Milagres Parish, Hampankatta-Mangaluru celebrated ‘All souls Day’ by praying for the departed faithful during the masses that were offered in the morning and in the evening. The cemetery was blessed after the evening mass by the parish clergy. Fr Bonaventure Nazareth, the parish priest officiated the mass and exhorted the faithful of the importance of praying for the dead. In his homily Fr Bonaventure said that while it is important to pray for our near and dear ones and this was the way to continue to maintain a relationship with them, it is also important for us who live to prepare ourselves for death. He gave an example of Anableps, a fish found in the waters of Northern South America. This fish has four eyes which makes them move swiftly when they perceive danger. The four eyed fish in reality have two eyes, but each eye has two lenses. It can simultaneously see what is happening within the water as well as above the water”.
“This makes it efficient. We who live on earth need to become like Anableps, with one eye on earth and the other on heaven, where we are all called to be. Our deeds here on earth determine where we will be after we die. As Jesus says in the gospel of Matthew ‘what you have done to the least of my brother or sister, that you have done to me’. We are called to lead good lives here on earth, in love and service of our brothers and sisters. While we pray for our departed we also remember their good works, their lives of faith and service, their good example and pray that may the Lord not look at their sins but on the good that they have done and grant them eternal life” added Fr Bonaventure
After the mass a small prayer service was held at the cemetery. The parish priest led the prayer especially praying for those buried in Milagres, the first Bishop, the priest and the religious, all our parishioners and near and dear ones who rest in the Lord. All the clergy of the parish joined in the prayer, the choir sang hymns to help the congregation pray. The priests later blessed the cemetery, helped by youth volunteers, trying their best to reach all the possible graves and blessing them by sprinkling Holy Water on the graves and the family members who had come to pray for them. The Mass and blessings of the tombs were also joined by Fr Anil (Assistant Parish Priest); Fr Maxim M D’souza (Vice Principal, Milagres PUC); Fr Michael Santhumayor (Milagres Degree College) ; and Fr Kenneth Crasta ( resident priest)
Inputs from : Fr Kenneth Crasta- Resident Priest at Milagres Church,Mangaluru
FR PRATAP NAIK SJ FROM PANJIM-GOA SHARES A FEW POINTS ON BRASS BAND AND ITS ROLE DURING FUNERALS AND ON ‘ALL SOULS DAY’
Fr. Pratap Naik, S.J., is a Jesuit priest based in Panjim-Goa. He is the director of the Thomas Stephens Konkkni Kendr (TSKK), a research institute based in Alto Porvorim, Goa working on issues related to the Konkani language, literature, culture and education. He was one of the proponents for founding the TSKK. In 2006, Naik was involved in a campaign to get official recognition for the Roman script of Konkani, along with the Devanagari script, which is the sole officially recognized script for Konkani in Goa. Fr Naik writes-
On 2nd November Catholics pray for all the dead persons and it is observed as ‘All Souls’ Day’. Each priest is allowed to offer three Masses for the dead on this day. Graves are decorated with flowers and candles. The best tribute to the dead, besides prayers, is the funeral march. Funeral marches are composed in Europe by various composers. Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827) was a German composer and pianist. He remains one of the most admired composers in the history of western music. His works span the transition from the classical period to the romantic era in classical music. His career has been divided as early, middle and late periods. During the late period from 1812 to till his death 1827, he suffered from deafness. His hearing loss did not prevent him from composing music. His Symphony No 3 in E flat major the “Eroica Symphony” was written 1800-1801. The second movement is a funeral March.
‘New Star Uppinkotti Brass Band’ of Udupi
Brass band plays an important role in the lives of Catholic Konknnis. It has become an integral part of their life and culture. For religious, social and family functions brass bands added solemnity, colour, liveliness, enthusiasm, and cheerfulness. For funerals it adds dignity for death. It reminds them that the dead body is sacred and it has to be respected and treated with sensitivity, love and care. Brass bands with its slow beat, soft music, and choice of hymns and marches evoked the feelings of sadness, grief, pain, loneliness, but also hope in eternal life. On other occasions it had the power to make people rejoice, sing and dance.
For funerals it made them shed tears and express sorrow. It was an appropriate tribute to the dead person to bid farewell. Unfortunately, day by day the role of the brass band is diminishing among Catholic Konknnis in Goa. However, it is still alive to a certain extent in Coastal Karnataka and Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra. In the following video “New Star Uppinkotti Brass Band” of Udupi district plays for a funeral in a village parish. While listening to this funeral music let us pray for not only the departed ones of our families, relatives, and friends, but also for everyone, especially those who lost their lives this year due to Covid-19. Yesterday on the Death Anniversary of my mother, I got the sad news that my first cousin Shanti Lewis’ life partner (49 years) passed away due to Covid-19 at 6 am on 01st November. May God grant him rest and peace.
Listen to the video below of New Star Brass Band-Uppinkotte, Udupi playing a funeral hymn- Click Here