Reflecting together on this year of sadness

All are invited to join a virtual Diocesan Mass on All Souls Day to acknowledge and remember those who have died this year.

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Archbishop Bernard Longley will celebrate the Mass at 7pm on Monday 2 November, live streamed from St Chad’s Cathedral.

November is the month of the Holy Souls and remembering the dead.

This year has been one of great sadness. The impact of Covid-19 across the globe has led to over a million deaths.

When funerals have been able to take place across the Archdiocese they have been subject to restrictions. Families and friends have been unable to gather in large numbers to grieve together and say goodbye.

Funerals have not always been able to take place in a church.

And it is not just the families of those who have died as a result of Covid-19 who have been affected. It is the families of those who have lost loved ones in any circumstances that are also affected.

The All Souls Mass will be an opportunity to spiritually reflect together on the year that has passed and to remember all who have died.

“The impact on people who have had a bereavement and couldn’t have a funeral in church has been huge,” said Mgr Timothy Menezes, Dean of St Chad’s Cathedral.

“You can have a birthday, an anniversary, again, but you can’t have a funeral again.

“We want to acknowledge this year of sadness and the fact people haven’t been able to have funerals in the way they might have hoped.

“The All Souls Mass is for all those who have died, and all those bereaved. At this Mass we shall pray most of all for the gift of hope in the Resurrection even in the midst of sadness.”

Archbishop Bernard Longley said: “Every November the Church offers us an opportunity to remember the Faithful Departed.

“This year, above all, we remember the bonds of faith and affection that hold us in communion with those who have died. Their prayers will console and strengthen us as we seek to support one another under the burdens of the coronavirus pandemic. May the Holy Souls pray for us.”

Let us be united in prayer.