More than 300 people attended a Memorial Day Mass celebrated by Archbishop Alexander Sample at Mount Calvary Cemetery.
Mass-goers and a choir from Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Southeast Portland packed the mausoleum — many stood throughout the entire Mass.
The event was to be held outdoors at the cemetery, celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, but was pushed inside into the mausoleum by inclement weather.
"Why do we gather here today?" asked Archbishop Sample during his homily. "It is to acknowledge the importance and need to pray for our loved ones who have died. This expresses our faith in the life after."
The archbishop added that is it not merely important for Catholics to remember their fallen, but to pray for them.
"Let it be known, that your new archbishop believes in purgatory," he said. "Preachers try to assure us that our dead loved ones are with the Lord, but none of us goes forth from this life completely detached from sin, or having completed penance for our sins."
It is true that our sins are forgiven in Christ, said Archbishop Sample, but our sins have affects, and penance is required for the harm that is done.
"Yes, our sins are forgiven," he said. "But we have to do restitution, whether in this life, or in purgatory."
He added an analogy at the end of his homily, stating that if you took a person and put him/her in a dark cave where they never saw light (the darkness representing sin), their eyes would become accustomed to the darkness.
"Imagine it's time to come out from that darkness into the light," he said. "It would be painful. The Lord must prepare us; he must slowly introduce us to the light. We need to be prepared to be brought into the Divine Light of God's presence."
A Memorial Day Mass was also held at Gethsemani Cemetery in Happy Valley, celebrated by Msgr. Dennis O'Donovan.