Why We Celebrate Mass at Cemetery – Catholic Priest

 

By Samuel Oyejola

 

Faithful of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja last Thursday leave the comfort of their cathedrals to celebrate mass at the Christian section of the Gudu Cemetery in commemoration of the All Souls’ Day.

 

According to Reverend Father Emmanuel Aderinola, one of the coordinating priests at the prayer, the mass was conducted at the cemetery to bring the faithful to reality of the essence of living and that man do not live forever on earth.

 

It is to bring closer to ourselves the realities of death that we do not live forever. The spiritual import is there and the physical import is also there,” Fr Aderinola told Time Nigeria.

 

All souls’s day is a holy day in Catholic Church that commemorates the souls of Christians who are dead especially those the Universal church believe are in a “state of purgatory”.

 

According to the catechism of the Catholic Church, all who die and are not in heaven but have sins that are not grievous enough to put them in hell are in a state of purgatory. It is a state of cleansing of sin and they undergo purification so as to achieve the necessary holiness needed to enter into heaven.

 

Aderinola advised Nigerians that, “We are to learn that death is a leveler, especially now that people are agitating for restructuring, division and people making a lot of noise about separating the country. This kind of reality tells us that when we come to bury the dead nobody wants to know who is laid next to who. Whether it is a Hausa, Igbo, rich or poor. In order word, when we go there will be no discrimination.”

 

He said that human beings must come to that reality that death is a leveler and constantly remind themselves that there is nobody that should be discriminate against. “We should all live as brothers and sisters and enjoy the company of one another.”

 

“Among the dead sleeping peacefully here you see the young, old, women and men. But in our world where we live we discriminate base on tribe, ethnic and social status.

 

“When you are dead and about to be buried, your family and friends will be less concern about whose tomb is next to you. It is inconsequential. Why can we not live peaceably among ourselves while we are still alive?”

 

According to the Priest, life is like two sides of a coin, there is life today and death tomorrow. He told the worshipers that the reality of life is not based on what they enjoy.

 

“As we came here, we have the opportunity to move round the tombs, and I saw somebody who was born two days before me but she died this year. Why do they put dates on their tombs? It does not benefit the dead, but it passes a strong message to us living.”

 

He told all that they should not lose the fact that they are going to home above.

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