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6 Ways for Catholics to Celebrate Memorial Day Latest

6 Ways for Catholics to Celebrate Memorial Day

May 24, 2024 by

Because of one man's sacrifice, we are privileged to choose and live our faith. Christ died freely and willingly to save us. Then the saints and martyrs followed in His footsteps, devoting life and death to this same privilege.

Memorial Day echoes these sacrifices, in the millions of military men and women who gave their lives freely, so we might live that way. Sacrificial love is not so popular in our day, but as Christ's followers, we aspire to live this theological virtue. 

More than just a long weekend or a great day to grill out, Memorial Day can be a time to reverence and remember those who modeled self-sacrifice so courageously. It can also inspire us to greater sacrificial love.

Here are 6 ways Catholics can observe Memorial Day to celebrate our fallen heroes and our freedom:

1. Pray for the Dead

Give thanks to God for the lives of the brave men and women who sacrificed for us all, and pray for their families, who also paid an agonizing price. Pray for the souls of the dead and for God in His merciful love to reward their gift of great selflessness.

Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. - John 15:13




2. Go to Mass

Most parishes offer Memorial Day Masses. Some invite veterans to wear their uniforms, have military members join in a procession, sing patriotic hymns, or recognize members of the armed forces with a blessing.

Make a special effort to attend Mass on Memorial Day and offer it in thanksgiving for your freedoms and for the souls of those who won them. Remember their families, too, who suffered excruciating losses for our freedom. Pray for the safety of those who currently serve and in thanksgiving for their bravery.



3. Observe the National Moment of Remembrance 

In 2000, Congress passed the National Moment of Remembrance Act. It asks all Americans to pause at 3pm for one minute of silence, honoring those who died in service to our country. 

At 3pm, the Hour of Mercy, pause what you are doing and reverence these brave souls. Explain the National Moment of Remembrance to friends and family members and encourage them to join you. 

It's the perfect time to teach children or grandchildren the importance of remembering and honoring sacrificial love and devotion to God and our country. 




4. Support Families of Fallen Soldiers

There are many charitable organizations to support the families of fallen patriots. Search in your area and find one that speaks to you. Make a special donation, or donate your time by volunteering, as a way to show your gratitude for their sacrifices. 



5. Special Prayer Intentions 

Each time you pray today, especially within your family, thank God for the gift of freedom won for us by brave patriots who willingly sacrificed their lives. Pray for their families, who paid a painful price for the benefit of those they will never know.

Pray for victims in war-torn countries who live in fear for their lives, facing war-time poverty and lacking what they need to live in dignity. Remember in your prayers the orphans, widows, and widowers of war. 

Pray for the safety and courage of all active military men and women, and for strength and provision for their families. Pray for victims of persecution, especially those unable to practice their faith.

Pray that our government leaders seek wise and prudent solutions to the complex problems in our world and dedicate their lives of public service to promoting peace. 




6. Teach Children Gratitude

A recent poll revealed that only 16% of Americans age 18-25 said they felt proud to live in America. Anti-Americanism is a disturbing societal trend doing grave harm and causing great division within our culture. 

Within the domestic Church, the family, we can educate our children and reclaim the patriotism lost to the evils of our day. No country is perfect, because men are imperfect. Today it is more important than ever to teach children that they can simultaneously love their country and also wish for and work for change. 

To progress as a nation and thrive as Americans, we must come from a place of gratitude. With that spirit of gratitude, we thank God for our fallen heroes, who did not die in vain. Their valiant sacrifices deserve our honor, respect, and thanksgiving. 


For Love of God & Country 

Let this and every Memorial Day be a calling to us as followers of Jesus. May we—in the company of the saints and martyrs and in the light of the fallen patriots whose lives we revere and whose courage and heroism we celebrate—aspire to the sacrificial love He modeled.