Offering masses, prayers best way to remember dear departed, says prelate

MANILA — As the prices of flowers are expected to increase following the onslaught of Typhoon Lawin in the northern part of the country, a Catholic prelate has said that offering masses and prayers are the best ways to remember one’s dear departed during All Souls’ Day.

“What is important is the intention of doing it,” Fr. Roy Bellen, communication officer of the Archdiocese of Manila, said in an interview.

Bellen noted that offering flowers and candles for the dead is good, but people can observe a meaningful All Souls’ Day even without them.

”Just offer a prayer for the person, offer mass, go to church. That’s more than enough. ‘Yung pamisa mo ang highest prayer po sa atin (Masses would be the highest prayer one could offer),” he said.

Bellen further said that people should not be judged if they could not afford to give fresh flowers, as what is important is that they remember their departed loved ones.

“We Filipinos, we always want to give the best to the ones we love. It is okay if one could only afford plastic flowers. You can’t say you love the person less if that is all you could afford,” he said in the vernacular, adding that there are those who could afford expensive wreaths but do not even pray for their loved ones who have passed away.

Bellen also urged the faithful to pray for other souls who have no one to pray for them.

“Believe it or not, there are those who have been forgotten. We have to remember them. It is our duty to also pray for them. We pray for all souls,” the priest said, pointing out that this is a basic church teaching.

The country commemorates All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day on Tuesday and Wednesday, less than two weeks after ‘Lawin’ struck the northern Philippines, including the Cordillera Administrative Region, where most of the country’s flower supplies come from. Ferdinand Patinio/