AN innovation in the holding of wakes and funerals is the live streaming of events so relatives and friends of the deceased can view events in real-time and without going to the cemetery.
At the cemetery, cameras have been placed in strategic areas to guide the public on road conditions and where to go, especially in this long weekend. Interactive maps help the faithful find tombs of loved ones.
Prayers for the dead could be ordered online, through the “Undas Online,” a project of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. The website, www.undasonline.com, is where a person can make a prayer request or pay for a mass offering for a departed loved one. It also lists information about All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, and the reasons why the faithful go on cemetery visits.
The project was intended for those who cannot visit cemeteries and who are far from their loved ones, like overseas workers and seafarers.
The website is in its beta stage with a warning that, “For lack of time, the materials on this site have been initially taken from sundry sources. Should you find some copyright infringements, kindly inform us so we can remove identified materials or go through accomplishing needed requirements.”
The site opens to a menu that includes a message reminding the faithful of the meanings of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. Bishop-elect of the Diocese of San Carlos Gerardo Alminaza, D.D., wrote in 2013, “As we celebrate All Saints’ Day, we remind ourselves of our universal call to holiness. We are challenged to become saints and this challenge is not just for a few but for everyone. The kind of holiness we need today is not privatized, that is, confined only to our private lives and does not affect nor challenge our ways of doing business, politics, and practically all the other aspects of human life, including how we care for our environment. More than ever, we need “social saints”—models of sanctity that effectively address the social sins of our present society: graft and corruption, double standard of morality, abuse of environment, just to name a few.”
For All Souls’ Day, he wrote, “As we pray for all our faithful departed, we remember in a special way not only members of our immediate and extended families, but those most forgotten, those who simply ‘disappeared,’ tortured and killed for their work for social justice and defense of human rights, and those who were victims of natural calamities that recently hit our country.”
Those making a prayer request are asked to fill a form and write a message listing the names of their deceased. A “Donate” button is there but donations are not required. Masses for the repose of souls will be held from November 1 to 8.
The “Prayers” section lists several prayers that can be said during cemetery visits. There are prayers for the dead, the “Chaplet for the faithful departed,” and the “Novena for holy souls in purgatory.”
This online facility is an innovation millions of Filipinos overseas would welcome in the next days.