“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. It 1971, Congress passed a law placing the celebration of Memorial Day on the last Monday in May.
Bishop Robert Deeley will celebrate a Memorial Day Mass at 10 a.m. in the mausoleum chapel at St. Peter's Cemetery in Lewiston. It is among several Masses and prayer services being held to mark the holiday. You will find a list of many of them below.
Calvary Cemetery, South Portland
The annual outdoor Mass for deceased veterans and family members will be held on Monday, May 28, at 9 a.m. in the New Calvary Cemetery, 1461 Broadway in South Portland. Msgr. Paul Stefanko will be the principal celebrant. Seating is limited so please bring a lawn chair if possible. In the event of rain, the Mass will be held at Holy Cross Church, 124 Cottage Road in South Portland. The Mass is sponsored by the parishes of Cluster 22 in cooperation with Adam and Caitlin Walker and the staff of Conroy-Tully Walker Funeral Homes and Cremation Services.
Holy Cross Cemetery, Livermore Falls
Weather permitting, Father Paul Dumais will celebrate a Memorial Day Mass at Holy Cross Cemetery, 445 Park Street in Livermore Falls, on Monday, May 28, at 1 p.m. Please bring a lawn chair.
Holy Cross Cemetery, Yarmouth
A Memorial Day Mass will be celebrated at Holy Cross Cemetery on Smith Street in Yarmouth on Monday, May 28, at 9 a.m. In the event of rain, the Mass will be moved to Sacred Heart Church, 326 Main Street in Yarmouth.
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Bangor
St. Paul the Apostle Parish will celebrate an outdoor Mass at Mount Pleasant Cemetery, 449 Ohio Street in Bangor, at 9:00 a.m. on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28. In the event of rain, Mass will be held at St. Mary Church, 768 Ohio Street in Bangor.
St. Agnes Cemetery, Island Falls
Memorial Day prayers will be offered at the cemetery, located on Belvedere Road, on Sunday, May 27, following the 10:30 a.m. Mass at St. Agnes Church in Island Falls.
St. John's Cemetery, Brunswick
All Saints Parish will hold a Memorial Day prayer service at St. John's Cemetery in Brunswick on Monday, May 28, at 11 a.m. The service will be led by Father Robert Lupo.
St. John's Cemetery, Rumford
Father Nathan March will celebrate Memorial Day Mass at St. John's Cemetery, located on Isthmus Road in Rumford, on Monday, May 28, at 8:15 a.m.
St. Joseph Cemetery, Biddeford
Good Shepherd Parish will hold a Memorial Day prayer service on Sunday, May 27, at 1:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Cemetery, 120 West Street in Biddeford. The service will be held at the site of the chapel and will be canceled if it rains.
St. Joseph Church, Bridgton
St. Joseph Parish will celebrate a Memorial Day Mass on Monday, May 28, at Saint Joseph Church, 225 South High Street, Bridgton at 8 a.m.
St. Mary Cemetery, Biddeford
A Memorial Day Prayer Service will be held on Sunday, May 27, at 2:30 p.m. at St. Mary’s Cemetery, 530 Elm Street in Biddeford. The service will be held at the flag pole in the St. Patrick section of the cemetery. The service will be canceled if it rains.
St. Mary of the Visitation Parish Cemeteries, Houlton
St. Mary of the Visitation Parish will hold a prayer service at the old cemetery behind St. Mary of the Visitation Church, 112 Military Street in Houlton, following the 6 p.m. Mass on Saturday, May 26.
St. Mary of the Visitation Parish will hold a Memorial Day Service at St. Mary's Cemetery on County Road at 9 a.m. on Monday, May 28.
St. Mary's Cemetery, Manchester
St. Michael Parish will celebrate a Memorial Day Mass on Monday, May 28, at 9 a.m. at St. Mary Cemetery, Pelton Hill in Manchester, Maine.
St. Peter's Cemetery, Lewiston
Bishop Robert Deeley will celebrate a Memorial Day Mass in the Mausoleum Chapel at St. Peter's Cemetery on Monday, May 28, at 10 a.m. St. Peter's Cemetery is located at 217 Switzerland Road in Lewiston. All are invited to attend the Mass.