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Turama- All Souls Day – remember and pray for loved ones who have passed on

Tuesday 2 November 2021 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National

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Turama- All Souls Day – remember and pray for loved ones who have passed on
Betty Bailey with her fresh flowers for Turama or All Souls Day at the Catholic Panama cemetery. 21110120. PC: SIAN SOLOMON.

Turama or All Souls Day is the special time of the year when graves in the Cook Islands are decorated with artificial or sweet scented fresh flowers and candles to remember and honour deceased loved ones.

Days prior to the event, families and friends can be seen sprucing up their graves - cleaning, painting and redecorating their graves and preparing flower arrangements.

In the Catholic tradition the Turama starts at sundown on November 1 through to November 2 when the Catholic faith conduct commemoration services of the dead.

Bishop Paul Donoghue explains that in the Catholic community, All Souls Day is when we believe and pray for our loved ones who have passed on and who may be still on the journey to heaven, who still need our help.

 “These are our loved ones, and it is important we don’t forget them and that we can still be of assistance to them,” he said.

The Catholic Diocese on Rarotonga hold a mass for the dead prior to visiting the graves of Catholics and non-Catholics in the districts.

Graves are lit up with candles or solar powered lights and families to welcome the Catholic processions who conduct a short prayer service and the sprinkling of holy water.

All Saints Day started at sundown on October 31until November 1; this occasion is for those who are in Heaven (they have completed the journey) - they are named Saints, including the faithful who have died holy deaths, said Bishop Donoghue. Every year, more people on Rarotonga become involved in decorating their graves on All Souls Day - the beautiful, colourful assortments of flower decorations are pretty unique to the island.