Thursday, September 15, 2011

Our Lady of Sorrows - Commemorative Service at Ottawa's Notre Dame Cemetery

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows well-exemplified by Michelangelo's Pieta:

Collect for the Feast
of Our Lady of Sorrows

O God, who willed that when your Son was lifted high on the Cross his Mother should stand close by and share his suffering, grant that your Church, participating with the Virgin Mary in the Passion of Christ, may merit a share in his Resurrection. Who lives and reigns with you.

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The late summer and early fall weekends are frequently chosen for the celebration of prayer (sometimes the Eucharist) in parish and diocesan cemeteries.  These anticipate the commemorations of All Saints and All Souls in the first days of November, when the weather in these parts is less propitious for gathering outside.

Last weekend, I presided at the ceremony of prayerful remembrance of the faithful departed at Notre Dame Cemetery on Montreal Road and St. Laurent Blvd. We gathered in Notre Dame de Lourdes de Vanier church for the prayers, followed by a procession to the cemetery's main entrance and the blessing of the tombs by pausing in different sections (the priests' plot, that of religious communities, the military section, with a special visit to the tomb of Bishop Marchand). A reception was held in the parish hall after the visit to the cemetery.

Despite the common impression that Notre Dame Cemetery is full, this is not the case and recently cemetery officials opened a new section of more than two hundred lots which are available for purchase.

Here are some pictures of the gathering:

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Last Saturday, during my visit to Montreal, I took time to visit and pray at the tomb of my parents in Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemetery on the slopes of Mount Royal:

This coming Sunday afternoon, September 18 at 2PM, I will take part in the service in memory of the faithful departed at Hope Cemetery/Cimetiere de l'Espoir (4660 Bank Street, Ottawa), which will include the blessing of the new columbariums in the Garden of the Resurrection.

For more information about Ottawa Archdiocesan Cemeteries:  or email:

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