Archbishop Cushley today offered Holy Mass for the repose of all the faithful departed of the Archdiocese at Mount Vernon Cemetery.

In his homily, he said: "We gather on All Souls to remember all who have died, and in particular those who have departed in the last 12 months.

"It is our belief as Catholics that the Mass and prayers offered for the dead are not useless or without merit, rather, they are not only an act of remembrance, but also an important part of our duty to the faithful departed.

"That sense of duty has brought you here today, praying for them, placing flowers on their grave, tidying up the headstone and so on.

"It is a good and noble thing to do, and it always gives me great comfort to accompany you."

He added: "No matter the end of those we have in mind today, no matter how young or old, prepared or unprepared; no matter how successful they were; no matter if their end was prolonged or sudden; a tragedy or a blessed release; we believe that all of them have been entrusted to the Father into the loving embrace of His son on the Cross.

"Today and throughout November, taking account of our own end and of the resurrection at the end of times, we pray for those who have gone before us.

"We assume the yoke, the light burden, of praying for the dead, of offering sacrifice for the forgiveness of their sins and for the repose of their souls.

"And with affection and humility we commend them all to the tender embrace of the Risen Lord.

"Eternal rest, grant unto them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen."

From All Souls’ Day to 8 November, there is a plenary indulgence for visiting a cemetery and praying for the dead there. The indulgence is granted together with the usual conditions of prayer for the Pope, detachment from sin and confession and Holy Communion around the time of the visit.  You can apply the indulgence to the dead.