CHARLESTON—In dying we are born unto eternal life.
That belief was the focus of Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone’s annual All Souls’ Day Mass held Oct. 2 at St. Lawrence Cemetery.
“Death is part of our experience but as Christians we believe that is not the end of the story,” the bishop said. “There is much more after death, there is life, not only new life but a fullness, completeness, a wholeness … there is nothing missing.”
November 1 is All Saints’ Day, when the faithful pray for those who have made it, the bishop said. All Souls’ Day is for those who are still in the process of making their way to fullness in Christ.
“We also have to offer a prayer for ourselves — we are in the process on this side of life,” he said. “The process to come closer and closer to Christ.”
While here on earth, the faithful all have the experience of seeking something more, Bishop Guglielmone said. He asked those in the congregation who did not seek more to raise their hands and then jokingly offered to meet them after Mass for confession.
About 45 people attended the outdoor liturgy, including a group of 14 juniors from Bishop England High School.
Michael Bolchoz, Bishop England’s principal, said he grew up attending a rosary at the cemetery and remembers it fondly. He wants to renew the tradition at the school. He has family members buried there and said probably 75 percent of his students do too.
Warren Stuckey, diocesan director of cemeteries, was delighted to have the Masses celebrated in the cemeteries.
Over 200 people attended last year’s Mass at Holy Cross Cemetery on James Island and Stuckey hopes to see those numbers increase again next year. The bishop encourages more people to attend the Mass.
“The cemetery creates an environment where you are forced to think of something beyond this life,” he said.