9-day All Souls’ Day starts in Guagua town

Sun.Star Pampanga - - FRONT PAGE - BY IAN OCAM PO FLORA Sun.Star Staff Re­porter

GUAGUA— Res­i­dents of this town’s Betis District take the com­mem­o­ra­tion of All Souls’Day in a more re­li­gious and mean­ing­ful sig­nif­i­cance with nine days of masses for the souls of the dead cel­e­brated at the Saint James the Apos­tle Parish and vis­it­ing the tombs of their rel­a­tives to light can­dles af­ter each af­ter­noon mass.

While others would have been set­ting aside left-over can­dles af­ter the Novem­ber 1 oc­ca­sion, folks of this district would con­tinue honor­ing the dead, show­er­ing them with pray­ers in the com­pany of fam­ily mem­bers con­tin­u­ously for nine days, start­ing from Novem­ber 1 un­til Novem­ber 9.

As early as Mon­day, res­i­dents here have been busy clean­ing grave sites.

The lo­cal pub­lic ceme­tery is a vir­tual white­wash as most graves are painted an im­mac­u­late white. Mau­soleums are given a fresh sweep, some even with the lux­ury of cur­tains and air-con­di­tion­ing units.

Lo­cal res­i­dents here said they have been ob­serv­ing the tra­di­tion for as long as they could re­mem­ber. They said the tra­di­tion could even be con­sid­ered the long­est ob­ser­vance of All Souls’ Day.

The tra­di­tion in­cludes the of­fer­ing of a nine-day novena, which a ma­jor­ity of the res­i­dents strictly ob­serve.

But un­like the usual Novem­ber 1 cel­e­bra­tion, the fo­cal point of the tra­di­tion is ob­served dur­ing the last day of the novena, which is high­lighted by a morn­ing mass and the bless­ing of graves in the nearby cemet er y.

“The event is more solemn and pro­vides more time in re­mem­ber­ing and of­fer­ing pray­ers to de­parted loved ones. This pe­riod also pro­vides time to look into our per­sonal lives and how we have lived our lives so far,” lo­cal res­i­dent Precy Cu­nanan sai d.

Cu­nanan said the event also al­lows more time for fam­ily mem­bers to be to­gether. She said her fam­ily would of­fer can­dles and pray­ers dur­ing the af­ter­noon un­til the early part of the evening.

While it seems to be out­dated, Cu­nanan said the tra­di­tion gives them a chance for in­tro­spec­tion and a chance to bond with fam­ily mem­bers while re­mem­ber­ing their de­parted loved ones.

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