MANILA, Philippines (CNS) — Filipinos who live outside the country can offer Masses and prayers for their dead relatives on All Souls’ Day through the internet.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines revived a “virtual cemetery,” which was first launched in 2011, in time for this year’s observance of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day, reported ucanews.com.
The observance of “Undas,” or Day of the Dead, is a major family affair in the Philippines.
Nearly everyone in this predominantly Catholic country goes to a cemetery Nov. 1 and 2, public holidays to mark All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
Tombs are cleaned and repainted, candles are lit and flowers are offered. Traditionally, Filipino families spend a night or two in the cemetery near their relatives’ tombs, playing card games, eating, even drinking, singing and dancing.
For Filipinos who cannot be home, however, the country’s Catholic bishops offer an alternative.
“For those who cannot make it to your parishes, especially Filipinos in other countries or seafarers, you may request for Masses to be celebrated for your beloved dead,” said Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, director of the bishops’ media office.
Ucanews.com said people can visit www.undasonline.com, click “Prayer Request,” and list the names of the dead for whom Mass or prayers are to be offered.
Masses will be held at the chapel of the bishops’ conference in Manila starting Nov. 1. The Diocese of Phoenix has a weekly Mass in Filipino at Our Lady of the Valley Parish.