AllSaints    AllSouls
All Saints’ Day
November 1

Today we keep the festival of your holy city, the heavenly Jerusalem, our mother.

Around your throne the saints, our brothers and sisters,sing your praise for ever.  Their glory fills us with joy, and their communion with us in your church gives us inspiration and strength as we hasten on our pilgrimage of faith, eager to meet them.

So we pray during the Mass of All Saints. We celebrate those who have made the long journey to the holy city, to Jerusalem, to the feast of heaven. 

The scriptures and prayers for the day tell us that we are part of that vast throng now standing before God’s throne in ceaseless praise. From the second reading: “I saw before me a huge crowd which no one could count from every nation, race, people and tongue...dressed in long white robes.” At our baptism, when we received our white robes, we became part of this great assembly.

Indeed, every time we go to Mass, before we sing Holy, Holy, we recall that we sing God’s praise with “angels and archangels and the whole company of heaven.”

Who is this company and why is it so wonderful to be part of it? This is another way of asking, “What does the communion of saints mean?” It is not complicated. 

All the baptized, living and dead, across the generations, walk together, suffer together, sing together—not only those who have died, and not only those who lead heroic lives. Vincent Harding, writing in Sojourners magazine, put it this way: “What a wild company we belong to! These are wild people, persecuted people, going-out, not-knowing-where-they’re-going people.” 

For a picture of what the lives of saints look like, read the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1–12.)
 Text by G. Thomas Ryan. 

All Souls
November 2

Because we know that death is not the end of life, it is not morbid for us Christians to visit the graves of our loved ones who have died. 

It is good to visit the cemetery, especially on November 2 and then throughout the month of November, when the church celebrates the communion of saints and souls and looks forward to that harvest at the end of time when all will be gathered into the new Jerusalem.

We decorate the graves of our loved ones because we believe that in baptism they have died with Christ and thus Christ will raise them up. So we place on the grave an evergreen wreath—the ancient crown of victory over death and a reminder of the eternal life promised to us in the first sacrament. Or we light vigil candles on the grave, keeping one lit throughout November—
a reflection of the light of Christ given to each one of us on our baptism day, and a reminder of the wise bridesmaids who kept their lamps lit while waiting for the groom to come so that the wedding could begin.

Remember Mary Magdalene and the other two Marys going to visit Jesus’ tomb. Confident that what they found, you will one day find, make pilgrimages to the graves of your loved ones this month. 

Pray at each grave:
Eternal rest grant unto Name, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon her/him.
May she/he rest in peace.
May her/his soul, and the souls 
of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, 
rest in peace. Amen.
. Text by David Philippart. 

HALLOWEEN Oct 31st....The Vigil of All Hallows...or  All Saints
Why are Ghosts usually shown in white?
Early Christians were buried in their white Baptismal Robe...the Alb.  An so it was thought that if bodies rise from the grave on Halloween. they will be dressed in white.  An since the Christian had his head covered with a white cloth, the ghosts would have a white cloth covering their heads.  Interesting!