Church wants Nov. 2 declared as holiday

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 01 2015 11:38 AM

Church wants Nov. 2 declared as holiday 1
Victims of typhoon "Sendong" are remembered by their families who offered prayers at the mass grave in Cagayan de Oro on November 1, 2015. Photo by Rod Bolivar, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Catholic Church on Sunday reminded its faithful that the appropriate day for remembering the dead is on All Souls’ Day or November 2.

While most Catholics visit their deceased loved ones on November 1, Father Francis Lucas noted that All Saints’ Day was set to honor the departed who have supposedly reached heaven.

"Ang [November] 1 ay para sa mga santo, 'yung mga nakarating na sa langit at nakita ang ating Panginoon... Kapag November 1st, kailangan sumimba tayo para parangalan 'yung mga santo, para ma-inspire rin na tayo ay makasama nila," Lucas told radio dzMM.

"Pero iyung November 2, 'yung All Souls' Day naman, ito iyung araw na dapat nating ipagdasal ang mga maaaring nagdurusa pa sa purgatoryo, na hindi pa completely righteous, may mga utang pa sila sa Panginoon na dapat nilang pagbayaran bago sila makarating sa langit," he added.

A report by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines News (CBCP News) earlier quoted Cotabato Cardinal Orlando Quevedo who has the same sentiment.

"What is happening is that, we many Filipinos and dioceses have emphasized All Saints’ Day as the time of blessing the dead and blessing the grave. I think that’s a wrong one," Quevedo said in a radio interview.

Quevado said the government recognizes only November 1 as a non-working holiday, and further sends a "wrong message" to the faithful.

"I would think that the time to travel to the province would be November 1 and the actual honoring is November 2 and the time to return would be November 3," Quevedo added.

Lucas, meanwhile, said November 2 should also be declared as a non-working holiday.

Bishops earlier appealed for a meaningful celebration of the "Undas" that cares not only for the dead, but also for the environment.

Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga also urged Filipinos not to turn grave sites into picnic spots.

"We go to cemeteries to remember them and their good deeds, not for picnic, not for reunion," Santos said.