Christmas Masses, Ornament Blessings Returning to Catholic Cemeteries

A Christmas Tree decorated with ornaments for the 2020 Christmas season stands in the mausoleum area of Cemetery of the Holy Rood in Westbury. (Courtesy Catholic Cemeteries of Long Island)

Catholic Cemeteries of Long Island has announced the return of its annual in-person Christmas Ornament Masses at the Cemetery of the Holy Rood in Westbury, Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram and Queen of All Saints Cemetery in Central Islip. Masses will be held simultaneously at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4.

Christmas Ornament Masses are a tradition that Catholic Cemeteries of Long Island has offered families for decades. These Masses were cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, hundreds are expected to take part in Masses or at special, smaller Ornament Blessing Prayer Services offered conveniently during the week.

Blessing services will take place at the following dates:
• Holy Rood: Wednesday through Friday, Dec. 1-3, and Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 6-7
• Holy Sepulchure: Wednesday through Friday, Dec. 1-3
• Queen of All Saints: Monday and Tuesday, December 6-7.

All blessings begin at 9:30 a.m.

“Last year due to restrictions relating to the pandemic, we held a series of smaller ornament blessings that were very well received,” said Richard Bie, president/CEO of Catholic Cemeteries of Long Island. “They were so popular that we are continuing them as well moving forward. It is very important to us at Catholic Cemeteries of Long Island to offer families the opportunities to honor and remember their lost loved ones. Our in-person Christmas Masses and now Ornament Blessing Prayer Services are back for 2021 and we expect large numbers of families to attend.”

Families will attend services and bring their favorite or special Christmas ornaments that they will hang on chapel Christmas Trees as tributes to family members who have passed on. Many ornaments are handmade and others include photos of loved ones. Following the blessings of the Christmas Trees, families are invited to place these mementos in remembrance on the trees.

“Families across Long Island have been eager to know about the scheduling of our Christmas celebrations; these are among our most well attended each year. Christmas Trees in our chapels are decorated with these special family ornaments, they serve as a beautiful and a fitting remembrance of those loved ones who have passed,” added Ann Andersen, associate director of Administration and Customer Sales. “And families are welcome to return, after Christmas, to take back the ornament and save it for an annual tradition in the future.”

Catholic Cemeteries of Long Island owns and operates four cemeteries across Long Island including Cemetery of the Holy Rood in Westbury, Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram, Queen of All Saints Cemetery in Central Islip and Queen of Peace Cemetery in Old Westbury. Queen of Peace is the first new Catholic cemetery to open on Long Island in decades and its chapel is expect to completed by the summer of 2022.

Catholic Cemeteries of Long Island is dedicated to meeting both the spiritual and physical needs of the more than 1.4 million Catholics across the Diocese of Rockville Centre, which encompasses Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island, NY.

For more information, Mass schedule and other important information, visit



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