This Monday, November 1st, we celebrate All Saints Day. We remember in a very special way on this day the many saints who came before us, holy men and women marked with the sign of faith. They set such good examples for us, and we are encouraged to strive to model our behavior after them and follow their holy ways of life. Many of them were ordinary people who were guided by the Lord to do extraordinary things. We are encouraged to seek the intercession of our saints as we pray for wisdom and guidance and continue on our journey of faith.
Then on Tuesday, November 2nd, we commemorate All Souls Day. It is a day in which the Church makes a special effort to remember, honor, and pray for the dead. We are encouraged to pray for our deceased relatives, friends, neighbors, parishioners, co-workers, and all who shared their lives with us. Speaking about the significance of this day, Pope Francis called All Souls Day, a day of hope. As reported in the media outlet, “The Catholic World Report”, in a Mass he celebrated for the faithful departed at a cemetery in Rome, he stated, “Hope is a gift from God that draws us towards life, towards eternal joy. Hope is an anchor that we have on the other side.” Pope Francis said that one must ask the Lord for the gift of Christian hope.
In addition, on Wednesday, November 3rd at 7:00 p.m., we will celebrate a Mass of Remembrance. We will honor the memory of those loved ones who have died, including those who have died recently. It is suggested that we especially remember those who have died from the COVID-19 virus in these difficult and uncertain times. As we grieve for all those who have died, we are reminded that grieving is part of the human condition and can help us on the path to healing. A litany of names and an offering of roses with appropriate lighting of candles will mark this special occasion.
As Catholics, we are asked at this time to prayerfully consider visiting appropriate gravesites as we strive to honor our dead and to bring spiritual peace and consolation to families who mourn for their loved ones. We are also encouraged to honor our deceased loved ones and our great saints by participating in our Church liturgies on these very special days. Details concerning these liturgies can be found in the Parish bulletin and on the Parish website.