With the American Flag waving in a cool breeze above the statue of the crucifixion, nearly 600 people surrounded the out-of-door altar to reflect upon and pray for our American veterans. The faithful gathered beneath man-made and natural canopies of heritage oak trees to take part in the annual Memorial Day Mass at Calvary Catholic Cemetery.
In his homily, the celebrant of the Mass, Bishop Robert N. Lynch, noted the simile in the dual celebration of the Mass with that of Memorial Day. “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,” he quoted from the Gospel of John, and told the crowd, “that is why we are here this morning.”
“With deep commitment to liberty, men and women have laid down their lives
and we thank God for their gifts.”
Altar servers from the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle lead the procession of priests and deacons to the out-of-door altar to begin the Annual Memorial Day Mass.
Flanked by Deacons John Buckley and Peter Andre, Bishop Lynch prepares to ascend to the altar for commencement of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
With Msgr. Robert Morris at his left, Bishop Lynch leads the opening prayer. At the close of his homily, the bishop prayed, “On Memorial Day 2013, we thank You Almighty God for those who have served, as did Your Son.
Many who attended Mass, found tranquility and shade under the canopies of large oak trees that adorn the cemetery.
Bishop Lynch receives the gift of bread at the Offertory from one of the faithful.
Deacon John Buckley, from Holy Name Parish in Gulfport, prepares the altar for the Offertory.
Retired Army Major Ron Comeau, and wife, Mary Anne, participate in the Memorial Day Mass along with their daughter, Michelle, and granddaughter, Kylie.
The faithful receive Communion from Bishop Lynch beneath the moss draped canopy of a heritage oak tree.