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Catholic Activity: Visiting the Cemetery

A custom still practiced in many Catholic sections of Europe is the "praying around the church" on Sunday after the Mass. People go through the churchyard sprinkling the graves with holy water and saying prayers for the souls of the departed. This is a private and non-liturgical substitute for the ancient Asperges procession.

DIRECTIONS

As the liturgical year reminds us more and more of the "last things" we can adapt this practice to help our children focus on the Catholic view of death. Stop by a cemetery on the way home from Sunday Mass and pray for the souls of the faithful departed. Sprinkle the graves with holy water and bless yourselves. While this will only take a few minutes it could leave a lasting impression upon the children to pray for the poor souls and to realize that we should live our lives with our end always in sight.

Activity Source: Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs by Francis X. Weiser, S.J., Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York, 1958

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