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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012
29th Sunday of the Year 21st October 2012
Waking the Dead When Deacon Michael read the obituary of Fr Barry Carpenter the other day he noted that it ended with the phrase, “He was a member of the Deceased Clergy Association.” Surely, as I am sure you will agree with our deacon, it should have read, “He is now a member of the Deceased Clergy Association.” Well, it may surprise you to know that I am a member of the Deceased Clergy Association. Now before you all grab garlic bulbs and stakes to drive through my heart as I lie in my bed, what that means is that I say a Mass for a fellow member when he dies. That way, when I die, all my fellow members will say a Mass for me. That’s a lot of Masses and extremely comforting as I’ll need all the prayers I can get. November is the month of the Holy Souls when we pray for those in purgatory. The Catechism states, “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification , so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of Heaven.” (CCC 1030) Praying for them is an ancient practice and even in the Old Testament Judas Maccabeus made atonement for the dead, “that they may be delivered from their sin.” (II Macc 12:46) And from the beginning the Church has honoured the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharist, to aid their purification. Therefore during November we will offer five Masses a week for those recalled on our dead list. Please write your loved ones’ names on the sheets available and return them (along with any Mass offering you might wish to include) to Clergy House. In his poem The Dream of Gerontius, Gerontius’s guardian angel says to his charge’s soul, “Masses on the earth and prayers in Heaven shall aid thee at the throne of the Most Highest.” And as he says this, Gerontius hears the angelic choirs and his loved ones back on earth joining together in praise of God for Gerontius’s purification by singing the great hymn Praise to the Holiest in the Height. It is a lovely thought that those we have loved and lost will hear our voices joined in prayer for them next month. Fr Kevin

posted by Sinead Reekie at 10:34 am