Church takes honoring the dead to cyber space
MANILA, Philippines—Want to have a meaningful memorial for your departed loved ones? Go online.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has launched an online portal that provides Filipinos across the world a trove of prayers that lets them pay their respects to their dead on All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day whether they are at the cemetery or not.
Introduced on Sunday by the CBCP media office, the online portal, http://undasonline.com, also contains a catechesis on the two important holy days in the Catholic Church as well as liturgical notes and papal messages.
The website also includes an archive of videos of Pope Benedict XVI’s previous Angelus messages on the solemnity of the saints and homilies on the commemoration of souls.
It also includes Blessed Pope John Paul II’s letters and homilies about the departed.
CBCP media director Msgr. Pedro Quitorio said the online portal was conceived with the following people in mind: Filipinos who are homebound and have no way of visiting the graves of their departed loved ones in cemeteries and those who are working abroad, particularly seafarers.
But Quitorio stressed the website was also aimed at bringing back the essence of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day, especially for the younger technology-oriented generation.
“That’s why the portal has all the resources that explain what All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day are really about,” said Quitorio in an interview.
Filipinos being drawn to secular ways of celebrating the holy days, such as holding costume parties, pushed the CBCP to launch “undasonline,” said Quitorio.
He said not many Filipinos were aware of the prayers that should be recited for the dead.
The website provides the prayers, which can be accessed either with a computer or cell phone. They include a chaplet for the faithful departed, a novena for the holy souls of purgatory and a prayer for the sacrifice for the poor souls.
Aside from the website, the CBCP media office has tapped Facebook and launched an account, “Usapang Undas.”
The Facebook account offers trivia about All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day, as well as reminders, such as to cemetery-goers to be vigilant against impostors who dress up as priests and offer to bless their picnics or the graves of their loved ones for a fee.
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