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Cambodia Mass in Norfolk to celebrate Holy Souls

A Mass to celebrate Bon Pchum Ben, the Cambodian Festival of the Ancestors (Holy Souls) is to be held in North Walsham on Friday October 12.

Organiser Katie Maidment said: “Pchum Ben is a special time in Cambodia when people go to the temple or church to remember and pray for their deceased loved ones. Families gather together to celebrate their memory, pray, light candles, burn incense and make offerings of food, which are later distributed to the poor.”

Canon Mark Hackeson, Parish Priest of Bury St Edmunds, will be the chief celebrant at the Cambodian-style Mass from 7pm at Sacred Heart Parish Hall, Norwich Road, North Walsham, NR28 9JP.

Katie said: “All are welcome to this rather different but very beautiful spiritual experience to unite in spirit with our friends in Cambodia, so we very much hope you will come and bring your friends and neighbours too.

“Those who come are invited to join in the spirit of the occasion and mark unity with our Cambodian friends by:

  • bringing one of the following food offerings to take up at the Offertory: UHT milk, long life fruit juice, canned items, cuppa soup, jam or biscuits [all with at least  3 months sell by date please]
  • putting a small photo or writing the name of someone you wish to pray for on the specially prepared board. 
  • sharing light refreshments after the Mass.
  • wearing a white shirt or blouse [the colour of respect in Cambodia]

“Removing your shoes on entering the hall and sitting on the floor in Cambodian style would also be very authentic but are, on this occasion, completely optional. There will be plenty of chairs,” said Katie.

For more information contact Katie on 01263 577784, or to learn about the Festival of Ancestors click here.

Pictured above is a previous Cambodian-style Mass in Aylsham.