Churches Worth Driving To
All Saints Mausoleum Chapel, Colma
Name of Church All Saints Mausoleum
Address 1500 Mission Road, Colma, CA 94014
Phone number (650) 756-2060
Mass times 1st Saturdays, 11 a.m., celebrated by a visiting priest in the All Saints Mausoleum Chapel. There are also Masses for special occasions, such as Memorial Day and All Souls Day.
Hours 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily. Holy Cross cemetery itself is open 8 a.m. – sunset.
Fellow parishioners People with loved ones buried in the cemetery; some tourists.
Parking There is ample parking on the roadways throughout the cemetery. The grounds are quite large for a cemetery.
Additional observations All Saints Mausoleum is the smaller of two mausoleums at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, the oldest and largest cemetery in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Holy Cross was founded in 1887 by Archbishop Patrick Riordan on 300 acres of farmland when the City of San Francisco’s Mt. Calvary Cemetery was nearing capacity. Hundreds of thousands have been buried in the cemetery since, and there is sufficient capacity to continuing burials for 150 years or more. Famous people buried at the cemetery include former California Governor Edmund “Pat” Brown, Yankee slugger Joe DiMaggio and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, assassinated in 1978. Stroll the grounds and enjoy beautiful old buildings, monuments to the deceased, stately old trees and well maintained grounds. The cemetery welcomes visitors; groups and students can call and ask about walking tours. Pick up a walking brochure at the cemetery office. Click here for a video tour of the cemetery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sW_9xXEZkQw&t=34s. The All Saints Mausoleum Chapel is adorned with beautiful stained glass images of Christ and the saints. More than 1.5 million people are buried in 17 cemeteries in Colma, a two-square mile city with only 1,600 residents.
Do the tombstones face east?
That is a tradition, but isn’t always possible. Placing the body in the tomb face up, with the head to the west, would mean it is “facing” east. This is similar to churches, the preferred orientation is to the East, looking for the glorious return of our Lord. It’s why Liturgies are oriented that way. So, when not practical (or possible), the placement of the altar becomes a “liturgical East,” ad orientem, so to speak. Our traditions are meant to teach us, but aren’t always set in stone. Another example, when a member of the lay faithful dies, the casket is generally placed in the long aisle with the person’s feet toward the altar and head toward the congregation. For a priest, deacon or bishop, the head is placed toward the altar and the feet toward the people. No one should be overly concerned about these matters, as long as our beloved dead are properly laid to rest. My thoughts. And, I’m open to correction, if wrong.