Memorial Day or Decoration Day as some of us once called it, is a day of celebration that melds together the words, thoughts and sentiments of “One Nation under God.” The observance causes us to reflect upon John 15:13, “There is no greater love than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
In the “busy-ness” of our lives we might be tempted to ask for justification of our own actions, as the lawyer did in the Gospel of Luke 10:29, “Jesus, who is my neighbor?”
The “neighbors” that we honor on this special day are those gallant men and women who gave up their dreams, their families, and maybe even their lives in service to our country, on battlefields that we might not even be able to pronounce or spell.
Their sacrifices long ago or possibly just minutes ago, allow us this day to fulfill our personal dreams, hug those we love and open the doors of our Churches to worship our God.
We gather “together” to remember and give thanks for the gift of one another as we celebrate Mass in the open fields of our cemetery grounds.
Masses that were once offered from the backs of camouflaged jeeps or on grey artillery boxes are now celebrated on ground amongst flags and headstones made sacred both by the liturgical blessings of a Church and the blessings of those – “our neighbors” - who have given that you and I might receive!
On Monday, May 26th we ask you to gather for our “Field Masses” to pray for the dead and comfort one another in our loss.
Complete listing of Memorial Day Field Masses at Catholic Cemeteries around the Archdiocese of Chicago