Church: Prayers more effective than flowers, candles

Posted on November 2, 2012

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WHILE flowers and candles are symbols of love used to honor the dead, these can never replace prayers, Catholic Church officials said yesterday.

“Flowers will just wither while candles will be consumed. But prayer is like an oblation. It goes up to heaven,” said Fr. Brian Brigoli, the parochial vicar of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

Brigoli said that souls, especially those in purgatory, badly need prayers for them to reach heaven and that the highest form of prayer one can offer is the celebration of Holy Mass.

“We are in a Church. We are in a community. The best way to express our love is to remember our departed loved ones through prayer,” Brigoli said.

All Souls’ Day and All Saints’ Day invite the faithful to pray for the dead and to reflect on one’s own inevitable death.

Many mistake death as the end of a journey “(but) ) death is not the end but the beginning of a new life. Death is the means to external life. It’s the way through which we shall all pass to arrive in eternity,” he explained.

Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal often visits the grave of his father, aunt, and sister at the Carreta Cemetery every Nov. 2.

The 81-year-old prelate arrived in Cebu yesterday from Rome where he attended the canonization of St. Pedro Calungsod.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma is still in Rome attending the Synod of Bishops from October 7 to 28.

He and six prelates will represent the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines in the Asian bishops meeting in Vietnam on Nov. 19 to 25.

The archbishop of Cebu usually presides over a Mass every Nov. 2 at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral mausoleum, the final resting place for deceased prelates.

The Cathedral mausoleum houses the remains of a cardinal, several bishops, and some members of the clergy.

Among the bishops buried in the crypt are the late archbishop of Cebu Julio Cardinal Rosales and Bishop Manuel Salvador, who was born in Dalaguete and was coadjutor archbishop of Cebu.

Also in the crypt are the remains of Bishop Sincero Barcenilla Lucero, who was born in Carcar, south of Cebu and whose last assignment was as bishop of the Calbayog diocese.

The remains of Archbishop Mariano Gaviola, the archbishop emeritus of Lipa City in Batangas, and Archbishop Lino Gonzaga, whose last assignment was at the Archdiocese of Zamboanga, are also at the mausoleum.

On Mondays, a Mass is held at the mausoleum which also features the Santo Entiero or the image of the dead Jesus Christ.

The image is usually used during processions on Good Friday. /Ador Vincent Mayol, Reporter
 

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