A November Tradition
Each year, All Souls Day – November 2 is a time to stop, a time to pray and a time to remember the deceased Sisters, family and friends so close to us.
A quiet, peaceful and a special (serene) eerie feeling greeted us as we gathered at 10am at the Ballarat New Cemetery for the annual pilgrimage to the graveside of our deceased Sisters and friends, coordinated by the Ballarat Mercy Associates.
Prior to our gathering, a small group had prepared the prayers and readings for the day and volunteers shared the various roles of the time of prayer. A printed leaflet contained the readings, prayers and hymns and enabled all to participate fully. Our time together began with Catherine’s Prayer, a car pulled up close by allowing us to have music to accompany our song. This was followed by an Introduction by Sister Berenice, South B Community Leader who then led all in the opening prayer. A reading from 2 Corinthians 4:6-10 followed and then some time for private and group reflection. Part of this reflection time was a quiet walk along the short distance to the burial site of the Sisters.
We then sang the Suspice, led by a tape recording amplified from that little car that followed closely as we walked. Some took the opportunity to take a ride, while others bring their own cars and others lent a helping hand/arm to the ones on ‘walkers’. Intercessional prayers were said and responded to with ‘God of Mercy, hear our prayer’. As we walked along the graves, there was quite a bit of time spent reminiscing about the different Sisters who had taught us, worked with us or played a special role in our lives. We all felt that this is something that we will spend more time and thought with for next year. Our time of remembrance ended with a final prayer said together and the singing of Circle of Mercy.
And in conclusion, it was off to the local Golf Club to enjoy each other’s company, a glass of red and a most enjoyable ‘counter ‘meal with 2014 already in mind.
Margaret McDonald – Mercy Associate