Thursday, 2 November 2006

Masses on All Souls Day

Today, priests have the privilege (though not the obligation) of celebrating three Masses. The only other day that you can do this is Christmas - although, of course, by way of exception most priests will say three Masses (or even more) on a Sunday.

Traditionally, one of the three Masses said today is for a private intention, one for all the faithful departed and one for the Holy Father's intentions. Benedict XV, who granted this privilege in 1915 (Incruentum altaris) hoped that the three Masses would make up for all the Foundation Masses lost over the centuries.

Last year I said the Masses one after another beside the tombs of Napoleon III and his family in the crypt of Farnborough Abbey (where I was doing my retreat) - I felt very much in union with the dead. Of course the essential solidarity between the Church Militant and the Church Suffering is the whole point of today.

All Souls Day is rather neglected in Protestant (or post-Protestant) England. But when I was a student in Rome I remember watching the stream of families making their way to the Campo Verano cemetery with flowers. Don't forget that a plenary indulgence is offered today for those who visit a cemetery or church to pray for the faithful departed, with the usual conditions!

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

<< # St. Blog's Parish ? >>