Memorial Day Masses and Services

“Memorial Day is a time to remember those who kept the faith and died in service to our country...It is our duty as Americans to praise their sacrifice, to bless their memories, to pray for their eternal repose, and to thank God for the freedom they preserve for us.” - Bishop Robert Deeley

The origins of Memorial Day date back to the Civil War when many cities and towns would set aside a day to remember those who died in the war. Originally called Decoration Day, it was officially proclaimed by General John Logan, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, on May 5, 1868, and was first observed on May 30 of that year when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery. 

Through the years, the holiday began to be known as Memorial Day and was a day to commemorate all those whose lives were lost in service to their country, not just Civil War veterans. In 1971, when the federal law went into effect moving major holidays to Mondays, the name Memorial Day became official, and the date was set as the last Monday in May.


St. Peter's Cemetery, 217 Switzerland Road - A Rosary and prayer service for fallen service members and those who they left behind will be held at 7 a.m. in the chapel of St. Peter's Cemetery on Saturday, May 25. The service is indoors and will be held rain or shine.

South Portland

Calvary Cemetery, 1461 Broadway - Bishop James Ruggieri will celebrae a Memorial Day Mass in the new section of the cemetery at 9 a.m.