During the month of November, in our devotional niche, candles are burning for those parishioners who have died over the past year. Also in that niche is the Book of the Dead. You are invited to write the names of your loved ones to be remembered at all the liturgies during the month of November.
All Souls Day is a holy day set aside for honoring the dead. The day is primarily celebrated in the Catholic Church, but it is also celebrated in the Eastern Orthodox Church and a few other denominations of Christianity. The Anglican church is the largest protestant church to celebrate the holy day. Most protestant denominations do not recognize the holiday and disagree with the theology behind it.
According to Catholic belief, the soul of a person who dies can go to one of three places. The first is heaven, where a person who dies in a state of perfect grace and communion with God goes. The second is hell, where those who die in a state of mortal sin are naturally condemned by their choice. The intermediate option is purgatory, which is thought to be where most people, free of mortal sin, but still in a state of lesser (venial) sin, must go.
Purgatory is necessary so that souls can be cleansed and perfected before they enter into heaven. There is scriptural basis for this belief. The primary reference is in 2 Maccabees, 12:26 and 12:32. "Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out... Thus made atonement for the dead that they might be free from sin."
Additional references are found in Zechariah, Sirach, and the Gospel of Matthew. Jewish tradition also reinforces this belief as well as the tradition and teaching of the Church, which has been affirmed throughout history.
Consistent with these teachings and traditions, Catholics believe that through the prayers of the faithful on Earth, the dead are cleansed of their sins so they may enter into heaven.
The belief in purgatory has not been without controversy. Certainly, some flagrant abuses of the doctrine were used to raise money for the Church during the renaissance. Famously, Martin Luther argued with the monk, Johan Tetzel, over the sale of indulgences. Indulgences were sold as spiritual pardons to the poor and applied to the souls of the dead (or the living) to get people into heaven. The abuse of indulgences and the blatant, sometimes fraudulent practice of selling indulgences for money, led to Luther's protest.
When Martin Luther translated the Bible into German, he omitted the seven books of the canon which refer to prayers for the dead. He then introduced the heretical belief that people are simply saved, or not, and argued that there is no need to pray for the dead to get them into heaven.
The Church reeled from Luther's accusation, and reformed its practice of selling indulgences. However, it reemphasized the Biblical and traditional practice of praying for the departed and the importance of such prayers.
All Souls Day is celebrated in much of the western world on November 2. Other rites have their own celebrations. The Eastern Orthodox Church has several such days throughout the year, mostly on Saturdays. All Souls Day is not a holy day of obligation. It should not be confused with All Saints' Day, which is a holy day of obligation.
Many cultures also mark the day differently. In North America, Americans may say extra prayers or light candles for the departed. In parts of Latin America, families visit the graves of their ancestors and sometimes leave food offerings for the departed.
Taken from www.catholic.org
"Various forms of prayer are presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 2623-2649). These various forms include prayer of blessing or adoration, prayer of petition, prayer of intercession, prayer of thanksgiving, and prayer of praise.
"Meditation is above all a quest."
Meditation is a Christian practice of prayer dating back to the early Church. As the Catechism states: "Meditation is above all a quest. The mind seeks to understand the why and how of the Christian life, in order to adhere and respond to what the Lord is asking." By meditating on the Gospels, holy icons, liturgical texts, spiritual writings, or "the great book of creation," we come to make our own that which is God's. "To the extent that we are humble and faithful, we discover in meditation the movements that stir the heart and we are able to discern them. It is a question of acting truthfully in order to come into the light: "Lord, what do you want me to do?" (CCC 2705-2706).
Meditation is an essential form of Christian prayer, especially for those who are seeking to answer the vocational question, "Lord, what do you want me to do?"
Spiritual reading of Sacred Scripture, especially the Gospels, is an important form of meditation. This spiritual reading is traditionally called lectio divina or divine reading. Lectio divina is prayer over the Scriptures.
Popular devotions are expressions of love and fidelity that arise from the intersection of one's own faith, culture and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As Saint John Paul II said in 2001:
Devotions promote the faith of the people.
"Genuine forms of popular piety, expressed in a multitude of different ways, derives from the faith and, therefore, must be valued and promoted. Such authentic expressions of popular piety are not at odds with the centrality of the Sacred Liturgy. Rather, in promoting the faith of the people, who regard popular piety as a natural religious expression, they predispose the people for the celebration of the Sacred Mysteries.
The correct relationship between these two expressions of faith must be based on certain firm principles, the first of which recognizes that the Liturgy is the center of the Church's life and cannot be substituted by, or placed on a par with, any other form of religious expression. Moreover, it is important to reaffirm that popular religiosity, even if not always evident, naturally culminates in the celebration of the Liturgy towards which it should ideally be oriented. This should be made clear through suitable catechesis" (Address to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, September 21, 2001).
Join with the Church as she expresses her praise and devotion to God through many popular devotional practices."
We invite you to consider our new electronic giving program as a way to automate your regular weekly offerings.
Electronic giving is convenient for you and provides much-needed consistency for our church. There is no cost for you to participate.
As an example, if you are currently giving on a weekly basis, you will no longer need to write out 52 checks a year, instead you can set up online donations and simply drop your empty envelope into the basket each week as an attendance record. And when illness, or other circumstances prevent you from attending mass, this program will allow your weekly offerings to continue on an uninterrupted basis.
To find out more about our exciting new service, click here.
"Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!"
"To listen to the Word is to have a personal encounter with God. Psalm 119 guides us towards the Gospel and fulfillment of the law of Jesus Christ. The Lord and His Word are our 'land' in which we live in communion and joy.
Each year during Our Catholic Appeal, you affirm the Lord and His Word by your generous response in supporting the ministries of the Diocese of Orlando. You open your hearts to the gift of these ministries because they help each one of you to live more fully in God's Law and to prosper our land with His majestic love. From honoring the divinity of each life, to teaching people of all ages about our faith, to sharing our resources with those who are alone or in need, to holding our parishes accountable for your stewardship in the Lord's name, these ministries bring forth God's law in our land."
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We are a Christ-centered, Spirit-filled family. Responding to the Father's loving invitation, we gather together as a diverse community to worship, to minister to others, and to celebrate our faith through the sacraments, community outreach, education, and personal witness.
To deepen and enhance the spiritual life of the parish through liturgy, personal prayer, and devotions.
To provide religious education and spiritual formation.
To minister to those within the parish family and community.
To reach out to returning Catholics and unchurched persons.
To deepen our commitment to stewardship of prayer, time and talent, and treasure.
To celebrate our diversity and our commonality.
Sts. Peter & Paul Parish was established on July 27, 1967. We celebrated our first Mass on August 13, 1967, on the grounds of Camp San Pedro. During the following two years, Pastor Michael Troy and 200 families were a community on the road, celebrating Mass in San Pedro Center, New Hope Baptist Church and Aloma Elementary School. On November 1, 1969, we celebrated the first Mass in the domed recreational building. It served not only as our church, but also the rectory, church offices, ministry meeting room and community auditorium.