Archbishop Leo Cushley used his homily upon the Feast of All Souls to remind those gathered at Mount Vernon Cemetery in Edinburgh of the communion in Jesus Christ that exists between the Christian faithful on Earth, in Purgatory and in Heaven.

“Requiescant in pace. They sleep in peace. They died in communion as sons and daughters of God, they died in communion with the Church, which is the mystical body of Jesus Christ, and that communion continues,” said the Archbishop to over 70 mourners packed into the small cemetery chapel, 2 November.

Archbishop Cushley gave particular mention to his predecessor as Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh, Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien, who died in March 2018 and now rests in Mount Vernon Cemetery. The Archbishop took time following Holy Mass to pray the Holy Rosary at Cardinal O’Brien’s grave.

The Feast of All Souls is an occasion when Catholics pray with particular intensity for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. The theological basis for the feast day is the doctrine that the souls which, on departing from the body, are not perfectly cleansed from venial sins, or have not fully atoned for past transgressions, are debarred from the Beatific Vision, and that the faithful on Earth can help them by prayers, alms deeds and especially by the sacrifice of the Mass. The entire month of November is dedicated to praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

Mount Vernon Cemetery was founded by the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh in 1895. Since then, almost 38,000 people have been laid to rest within it. It is still the city’s only Catholic cemetery.