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Celebration of Memorial Day

May 28

Written by:
5/28/2017 12:00 AM  RssIcon

This weekend, we celebrate Memorial Day, the unofficial start of the summer holiday season. Yet, it is good to keep in mind that there is much more that we celebrate on this day, as well. First known as Decoration Day, the holiday that became known as Memorial Day started in response to the so many Americans being killed during the US Civil War. On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan called for a national day of remembrance to be held on the 30th of May that same year, for the purpose of ‘strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.’

By 1890, most northern states had adopted the practice of honoring the dead of the US Civil War in late May, while southern states were slower to transition from separate celebrations held to honor their dead. Not until the United States was again embroiled in a major conflict were these celebrates united into the last Monday of May, as we once again had many war dead as a result of World War I. As a result, Memorial Day has come to include those who gave their lives in defense of our great country.

Surprisingly, though, Memorial Day was not made an official government holiday until 1971, as more and more towns and cities across the country held parades and other events to honor those who paid the ultimate price.

As the holiday grew, families started to gather at the graves of loved ones who have passed, and I remember some Memorial Day holidays as a child that we would go around as a family to place flowers and remembrances at the graves of our family members who had passed. And as Catholics, we unite our prayers to those who have gone before us and ask that they might be praying for us, too.

Again this summer, we are uniting together between Corpus Christ, St. John the Baptist and St. John Neumann to celebrate this summer secular holidays together. Because St. John the Baptist has a long standing ceremony to honor the dead, particularly those buried in the cemetery next to the Church, they will be hosting Mass for the Pastoral Area on Monday at 8:30 AM, followed by the prayer service in the cemetery.

Later this summer, St. John Neumann will host Mass on July 4 at 10:00; while Corpus Christi will host Mass for Labor Day, also at 10:00 AM. While the school year finishes off strong and we enter into that summer travel season, please know of my prayers for you all and my wish that if you are able to get time away, that it is restful and relaxing, and allows you to return renewed and refreshed.

In Christ,
Fr. Kyle Schnippel


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Deacon Ron answers your questions.

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Re: Why do we place a white pall on the casket of the deceased at funeral Masses?
I have been wondering about that. Thank you for explaining it.

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