St. Mary’s Parish Novena of Masses for the Holy Souls 2023
November 22nd – 30th, 2023
The 9 masses will be celebrated as follows:
Wednesday – Friday, November 22nd – 24th: 9:30am.
Saturday 25th: 7:30pm.
Sunday 26th: 10.00am.
Monday – Wednesday, November 27th – 29th: 9:30am.
Thursday 30th: 7:30pm
At the 7:30pm Mass on Thursday, November 30th, the names of those whose funerals and/or burials took place in St. Mary’s Parish in the past year, that is, November 1st, 2022 – October 31st, 2023, will be read out. At that Mass names of people, including parishioners, whose funerals took place elsewhere in the past year, that is, November 1st, 2022 – October 31st, 2023, will also be read out. As always, we rely on people to give in names to the parish office of relatives or friends whose funerals took place elsewhere during the past year.
On that night (Thursday, Nov. 30th), a candle with the name of the deceased on it will be lighted for each one of them.
At the end of that Mass on November 30th, each family is welcome to take the candle home in remembrance of their loved one.
Holy Souls Novena
A novena is nine consecutive days of prayer for a special intention which may be said in public or in private.
The nine days between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday which the apostles and Our Lady spent in continuous prayer in the Upper Room in Jerusalem before the coming of the Holy Spirit is regarded as the first Christian novena. We read in the Acts of the Apostles: ‘All these (the apostles) joined in continuous prayer, together with several women, including Mary, the Mother of Jesus.’ Acts 1:12 — 2:5.
The Novena of Masses for the Holy Souls is nine days of consecutive prayer for all those who have died and whose journey to God is not yet complete, but whose place in Heaven is assured. We can assist them with our prayers. We continue to be members of the one family of God, the living and the dead, the Communion of Saints, family members united in love and in prayer. ‘Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.’ St. John Chrysostom (349/350 — 407).
‘We offer Mass for them; we apply indulgences to them. All of these the Church calls suffrages — which are the urgent prayer (supplication) to God to have mercy on the souls of the dead, to purify them by the fire of His charity, and to bring them to His kingdom of light and life. (From the Directory of Popular Piety and the Liturgy)
‘Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace. Amen.
May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.’