Francis Gunn Memorial Masses

HNP Communications Friar News

Two memorial Masses are planned for Francis Gunn, OFM, who died last month. The first is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sept. 24 at Holy Name of Jesus Church on West 96th Street in New York and the second, at 7 p.m. on Sept. 26  at St. Mary’s Church in Pompton Lakes, N.J..

The communities are celebrating his life and our friendship with Month’s Mind Memorial Masses.

“We are pleased to call upon the traditions of the church to assist us in our grief following the death of our brother, Francis Gunn, who was called to eternal life on August 24,” said Lawrence Ford, OFM, of Holy Name Church.

The Month’s Mind is an opportunity to once again commend the deceased to our loving God, according to Lawrence. “It is a requiem Mass celebrated about one month after a person’s death, and is celebrated in an atmosphere of prayerful remembrance, of gratitude, and of hope in the resurrection,” he said. “The pain of loss is not quite as intense now, and the Memorial Mass helps us to move forward into the future.

In medieval and later England, it was a service and feast held one month after the death of anyone in his or her memory, according to Larry. He noted that the British monk, St. Bede, speaks of the day as commemorationis dies. These “Minding Days” were of great antiquity, and were an extension of the Norse minne, or ceremonial drinking to the dead. “Minnying Days,” were days in which our ancestors called their Month’s Mind, their Year’s Mind and the like, being the days whereon their souls were held in special remembrance, and some prayers or obsequies said for them. It is common practice in Ireland for the family of the deceased and close friends to attend Mass and take a meal together on the occasion of the Month’s Mind.

Friars as well as friends of the Province are invited to both Masses.