Outdoor Memorial Day Masses return to Catholic Cemeteries after two-year hiatus

Cardinal Tobin consecrates the Eucharist during a 2019 Memorial Day Mass at Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington. (Photo courtesy of Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark)

Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark will join thousands of Catholic cemeteries nationwide in the annual Memorial Day program, “Serving God and Country: A Memorial Day Salute to Our Heroes.” Memorial Day Masses will be celebrated on Monday, May 30, at 11 a.m. at several archdiocesan cemeteries.

Most Masses will be celebrated outdoors under large canopy tents, rain or shine, and seating will be provided. The program honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. armed forces and recognizes military veterans and active-duty military personnel serving our country.

The Memorial Day Masses were livestreamed from 2020 to 2021 with limited participation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Returning to the open-air Mass celebrations will allow local Catholics to experience Memorial Day Mass with family and friends the way it was meant to be celebrated — together as a community.       

“We are pleased to welcome back the families and friends of loved ones we could not see the last two years,” said Andrew P. Schafer, Executive Director of Catholic Cemeteries, a ministry of the Archdiocese of Newark. “We will never forget the sacrifices made by our servicemen and women. We are forever in their debt for their service, hope, and courage. May they rest in eternal peace.” 

“Serving God and Country: A Memorial Day Salute to Our Heroes” is a national program developed by the Catholic Cemetery Conference to honor members of the military who died in combat and recognize veterans and current servicemen and women.

Active military personnel and veterans typically participate in the Memorial Day Mass to carry wreaths or candles during opening and closing processions, serve as lectors or participants in the presentation of gifts, or recite intercessions followed by a moment of silence.  

Memorial Day Mass will be celebrated at the following Archdiocesan Catholic Cemeteries locations on Monday, May 30, at 11 a.m. with the following celebrants: 

  • Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington – Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., archbishop of Newark   
  • * Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover – Most Reverend Manuel A. Cruz, D.D., auxiliary bishop of Newark
  • * Maryrest Cemetery, Mahwah– Most Reverend Michael A. Saporito, D.D., auxiliary bishop of Newark
  • Saint Gertrude Cemetery, Colonia – Most Reverend Elias R. Lorenzo, O.S.B., D.D., auxiliary bishop of Newark
  • Holy Name Cemetery, Jersey City – Most Reverend Gregory J. Studerus, D.D., auxiliary bishop of Newark
  • Christ the King Cemetery, Franklin Lakes – Very Reverend John J. Chadwick, S.T.D., vicar general of the Archdiocese of Newark
  • Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, East Orange – Rev. Philip J. Waters, O.S.B.

*Gate of Heaven and Maryrest cemeteries will celebrate Memorial Day Mass inside their mausoleum chapels. For more information, visit www.rcancem.org/memorial-day-mass.   

In addition to the Memorial Day Masses, Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark proudly honors fallen heroes and veterans and remembers them throughout the year during monthly Masses, Veterans Day, Flag Day, and Memorial Day. Flags fly daily in designated areas over all archdiocesan cemeteries to honor those presently serving and those who have served. Additionally, more than 1,000 American flags are placed at the memorials of veterans interred at Catholic Cemeteries for Memorial Day, and they remain through Flag Day.    

About Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark
Catholic Cemeteries assists individuals and families before, during, and after the loss of a loved one. They also provide Monthly Masses of Remembrance celebrated at archdiocesan Catholic cemeteries throughout the year, typically during the first week of each month and on special days. Contact a caring and professional Memorial Planning Advisor at cemetery@rcan.org or learn more at www.CatholicJourney.org

About the Archdiocese of Newark 
The Archdiocese of Newark, under the leadership of Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., the sixth archbishop of Newark, serves approximately 1.3 million Catholics in 212 parishes and 73 schools throughout the counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union. The Archdiocese serves the northern New Jersey community through faith, education, and social services. To learn more, visit www.rcan.org.