celebrate the feast of All Saints on November 1st
that October 31 truly is All Hallows Eve. It is the beginning of the
last month in the Church’s
Year so we call on all the saints of all time to intercede for us
before the Lord. We have many saints in the Church calendar. The
Church devotes the month of November to prayer for our loved ones
beginning with All Souls Day on November 2nd.
Often overshadowed by the two days preceding it, Halloween (Oct.
31st) & All Saints Day (Nov 1st),
All Souls Day is a solemn celebration commemorating all of those who
have gone before us! Indeed, the Church encourages us during the
month of November to take time to pause, remember and pray for all
our loved ones.
the month is not limited to the many saints whose names are in the
calendar and are celebrated at an appropriate date with a feast day
and memory. It includes all the faithful departed who have gone
before us and are now in the presence of the Lord. The vast majority
of these are not canonised but are known to those with whom they
lived and loved. We all know many good people whose lives were
exemplary and a testament to all those around them. During the month
of November, we have all of these in mind as we remember with
confidence our saints.
people pay a visit to a cemetery with a flower or a night light. ‘It
is a holy and a wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may
be freed to
In prayer we are in God’s presence and we believe we are in some
way in communion with our loved ones.
may wish of course to avoid talking about death, we don’t like
being reminded of our mortality. Woody Allen famously quipped, “I’m
not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it
happens.” It strikes a chord because that is how many of us deal
with death. We joke about it while keeping our real thoughts and
fears to ourselves.
of our deceased relatives we got to say goodbye to, while others left
us before any goodbyes could be exchanged. By remembering our
deceased in prayer or by visiting their resting place is an attempt
at saying we haven’t forgotten them and that they will always be a
special part of our lives.
a custom too in Ireland to abstain from alcohol and or cigarettes
during the month of November. Fasting and sacrifice help us to focus
our mind on prayer. ‘I’ve given up alcohol. And, yes, it’s
tough!’ As we spend the month recalling the example of people of
faith who went before us, spare a thought for your future too. Would
life as a religious help you to be the saint that you are called to
all our loved ones who have died, rest in peace!