FR. MICHAEL SAYS………………..
The month of November has a significant beginning for Catholics because of two major feasts that help us turn our attention to what comes after this life on Earth: All Saints and All Souls.
It’s important to note the difference between these two feasts. The Solemnity of All Saints celebrates all those men and women who have gone before us and are already in heaven with the Lord. We also call this group of Christians “the Church Triumphant.”
Some of these saints are well known (people like the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, and all those famous saints who we celebrate throughout the year). The fact that they are definitely in Heaven has been confirmed by miracles that have occurred through their intercession. Others saints may not be known to any of us until the end of time.
Regardless of whether they are recognized by the Church on Earth or not, anyone who is in heaven is a saint and the feast of All Saints is a celebration of their holiness - how they cooperated with the grace of God in life.
The day after All Saints is the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed or the feast of All Souls. This is a day of prayer for our loved ones who have died and are being purified in Purgatory. They will one day be in Heaven - that is a sure thing once we reach Purgatory - but we get to assist them through the process of being purified by our prayers.
We can see the difference in these two important feasts even by the vestments priests can wear at mass. For All Saints, priests (and deacons) wear white symbolizing the resurrection of Jesus that we hope to share in, while All Souls is one of the few days of the year when a priest can wear black vestments.
While we’re speaking of All Saints and All Souls, it might be interesting to hear about their connection to Halloween (which comes from “All Hallows’ Eve” or the evening before All Saints). While many people now would claim that Halloween is a pagan holiday that Christians should avoid, it is directly tied to these holy days. Various ethnic traditions associated with remembering the dead combined with dressing up and trick-or-treating.
MEMORIAL DONATION: to Our Lady of Lourdes Church in memory of Joan (Sargeant) Crites from Joe & Elaine Rotella.
ALL NEW AND CURRENT ALTAR SERVERS: There will be two mandatory meetings coming up this month. The first will be on Sunday, Nov. 8th, & the second the following Sunday, Nov. 15th. Both meetings will start at 1:00pm, in Blessed Sacrament Church.
The reason for these meetings is to train any child (who has made their first Communion) or adult interested in becoming an altar server and to “refresh” our current altar servers. The current altar servers must attend at least the first of these meetings and then be given permission to be exempt from the second. You will also let the priests know which Mass you can serve for Christmas so the new schedule can be mailed. They will have a signup sheet available.