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Holy Cross Pioneer Cemetery Dedication Prayer

Adapted from a prayer by Fr. Edward Hays, Prayers for the Domestic Church, p. 194

God of Abraham and of Moses,
Lord of the Living, who visited Jesus within His grave
and filled Him with the fullness of eternal life,
hear our prayer this day
as we come to Holy Cross Pioneer Cemetery.

With reverence, we visit this sacred shrine
where the bodies of our ancestors
were placed within the womb of the earth
to await the final day of glory.
We pause in silent prayer to be united with them.
Pause in silent prayer
Lord, we have come on this pilgrimage of prayer
to keep the flame of love alive within our hearts.
As we remember those who are buried here
we rejoice because their names have been written for all ages
In the palm of Your Divine Hand.

May the breath of creation that surrounds these graves -
in trees, grass and earth, birds and sun -
join us in prayer.
May this pilgrimage remind us of what we already know:
that nothing dies;
rather, life is only transformed into new life.
Holy are these graves,
holy this earth that has held in gentle embrace
the bodies of all who are buried in this cemetery.

Lord, with reverence, we leave a wreath of prayers
woven with love, adorned with memories
and with our faith in the reality
of that earthen Easter morning
when all the holy dead shall rise
in the splendor of Your glory.

Until that day, we pray
“Eternal rest grant unto to them O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed
through the mercy of God
rest in peace.”
+ + + AMEN + + +

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