It is often said that the dead rule Africa. That is, of course, an overstatement. However, there in Africa enormous respect for the ancestors as well as a real influence exerted by them. They are a very natural and supernatural part of the family. We grow up in real communion with our ancestors.
Therefore when we celebrate the feasts of All Saints and All Souls, there is a very large community celebration in which families come together.
Here in Zimbabwe, the parish Mass on the first Sunday of November is celebrated where possible in the local cemetery, and then afterward, each of the family graves is blessed. It is a long and at this time of the year a very hot ceremony, but it means so much to the people of the country.
For the Redemptorists, as well as participating in the parish celebrations, we visit the graves of our own deceased Redemptorists. There are only a few, and these are confreres who came up from South Africa over 40 years ago and ministered in many parts of this country.
So each November, members of our communities in the Region of Zimbabwe go to these graves and pray in thanksgiving for the labours of our Redemptorist ancestors and also for their eternal repose. Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace.
Brother Benjamin T. Posvo, C.Ss.R.