This coming Tuesday, November 1st, we celebrate All Saints Day. The Catholic Church recognizes this day as a Holy Day of Obligation. Speaking on the significance of this day, as reported by the media outlet, “Catholic News Service”, Our Holy Father, Pope Francis reminded the faithful that Christian joy is a sign of holiness that bears witness to God’s love. He stated, “The saints, even amid tribulations, have experienced this joy and have borne witness to it.”
As we reflect on these words of Pope Francis, 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 can strive to model our behavior after them and follow their holy way of life. We are challenged to learn from them and to learn more about them. 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 Wednesday, November 2nd, we commemorate All Souls Day. It is a day to honor and pray for all souls. We especially pray for our deceased relatives, friends, neighbors, parishioners, co-workers, and all who shared their lives with us. Our Holy Father encouraged us to attend Mass and receive the Eucharist on this day, noting that it is the best spiritual help that we can give to the souls who have gone before us.
In addition, on Wednesday, November 2nd, at 7 p.m., we will celebrate a Mass of Remembrance. As in the past, we will honor the memory of those loved ones who have died, including those who have died recently. A litany of names and an offering of roses with appropriate lighting candles will mark this special occasion.
As Catholics, we are encouraged, especially during this first week of November, to visit grave sites as we strive to honor our dead and to bring spiritual peace and consolation to families who mourn for their loved ones.
We can also give thanks to all those who give of their time to participate in our bereavement and grief-sharing ministries, and who do so much to assist families in their time of mourning and grief. They provide these families with much comfort and guidance.
We are invited to honor our deceased loved ones and our great saints by participating in our Church liturgies on these very special days.