November 16, 2012

New cemetery crypt blessed after All Souls Day Mass

Good Shepherd parishioner Mary Jane Mattingly of Indianapolis, left, and St. Lawrence parishioner Patricia Beaupre of Indianapolis hold lighted candles as they pray during an All Souls Day Mass on Nov. 2 at the Calvary Cemetery Mausoleum Chapel in Indianapolis. They are widows and longtime friends. (Photo by Mary Ann Garber)

Good Shepherd parishioner Mary Jane Mattingly of Indianapolis, left, and St. Lawrence parishioner Patricia Beaupre of Indianapolis hold lighted candles as they pray during an All Souls Day Mass on Nov. 2 at the Calvary Cemetery Mausoleum Chapel in Indianapolis. They are widows and longtime friends. (Photo by Mary Ann Garber)

By Mary Ann Garber

Candles burned brightly inside the Calvary Cemetery Mausoleum Chapel in Indianapolis on All Souls Day as Catholics from a number of central Indiana parishes offered their heartfelt prayers to and for the faithful departed.

Their prayers for deceased loved ones were an emotional expression of grief as well as fervent witness of belief in the communion of saints and life everlasting.

Father Patrick Beidelman, archdiocesan director of liturgy and vice rector of Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis, was the celebrant for a Nov. 2 Mass at the chapel.

He also presided during the blessing of the cemetery’s new Court of the Apostles Garden Crypt, a 384-space mausoleum constructed just east of the chapel.

Father Beidelman represented Bishop Christopher J. Coyne, apostolic administrator, who had traveled to Boston to celebrate the Mass of Christian Burial for his late father, William Coyne Jr., on Nov. 3 with family members and friends.

“On this feast of All Souls, we especially remember those who have died within this past year and all the faithful departed,” Father Beidelman said. “Today, we also gather to bless a new mausoleum where the bodies of our brothers and sisters in Christ will be buried and sealed with the name of Christ. …

“As we prepare this resting place for the dead, we should raise our hearts from Earth to heaven and look to Christ, who suffered, died and rose again for our salvation,” he said. “Christ has commended us to keep watch for his coming, and has promised to meet us when we rise again.”

The liturgy also gave mourners an opportunity to open their hearts to God’s consolation and comfort, Father Beidelman said. “We gather today to remember to God those who have died, who have passed from this life to the next life, and who stand in need of our prayerful support as they come face to face with God in heaven.

“We also gather to be renewed in our hope in the promise of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead [so] that we can be with God forever in paradise,” he said. “In the Paschal Mystery—Jesus’ saving death and resurrection—we celebrate the annihilation of the effects of sin and death, and the restoration of our deep communion with our Triune God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit to us all.

“In the celebration of this ancient commemoration of the sacrifice of Christ and the banquet of his love,” Father Beidelman said, “we are reminded of and renewed in our call to holiness in this life, a call that is best expressed in a life lived in service and care of others.”

God’s gift of salvation is offered to each of us, he said, and we are called to live our lives in faithful service as our response to God’s love for us.

Catholics can help the faithful departed through their prayers, almsgiving and good deeds, Father Beidelman said, and especially by the sacrifice of the holy Mass.

“If our prayers are earnest and sincere, if our loving concern for others is rooted wholeheartedly in compassion and mercy, and if our discipleship is marked by humility and kindness, we can and will be drawn into the mystery of our life with God as we strive boldly for the communion to which we have been called by Jesus,” he said. “So even if today our hearts are heavy and we come [here] with some sadness, … we know that we are called to be people who are hopeful.”

We need to ask the Lord to transform us as well as our hearts and prayers, Father Beidelman said, to better reflect God’s glory.

“May our lives be transformed by the example of love, obedience and service,” he said, “which we celebrate in this Eucharist.”

Autumn sunshine carved bright angles of light against the shadows along the sides of the new garden crypt as Father Beidelman led prayers then blessed the mausoleum with holy water.

“As we bless this place of rest for the bodies of the faithful departed, let us ask the Lord to strengthen us with his consolation, his grace and his mercy,” Father Beidelman said. “Grant that this mausoleum placed under the patronage of the Apostles may be—by the power of your blessing—a place of rest and hope. … May this place be a comfort to the living, and a sign of their hope for unending life.”

St. Barnabas parishioner Celia Woodard of Indianapolis, the mother of Deacon Russell Woodard, was widowed two years ago. Her husband, Melvin Woodard, died on March 11, 2010.

“It’s a very special day,” she said of the feast of All Souls. “Yesterday, on All Saints Day, I was hoping that he is one of the saints. But if he still needs prayers and everything, this was a beautiful Mass to do that.” †

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