Sunday, November 1, 2015

Little Teaching: All Saints Day! (And All Souls Day...oh, and Halloween)

A little primer about this amazing three-day stretch!

Halloween (or Hallowe'en), October 31: 

The word derives from "All Hallows' Eve", which denotes the evening before All Hallows' Day (All Saints' Day), a Christian feast day.

All Saints' Day, November 1:

Also known as the Feast of All Saints. It's the day we Catholics honor all the saints in Heaven, not only the canonized, recognized saints who have their own particular feast days on the Church calendar. There are many millions of other saints in Heaven who are not canonized, most of whom are obviously unknown to us, and this is the day we celebrate those myriad holy men and women.

All Saints' Day is a holy day of obligation, and so to willfully miss mass on this day is a grave sin for Catholics. (In other words, get to mass! It should be easy to remember this year since it falls on a Sunday and you are going anyway, yes?)

All Souls' Day, November 2:

This is the day we remember and pray for all the souls in Purgatory. These souls are not forgotten by the universal Church, and they benefit from the prayers of the faithful as they steadily approach perfection and the Beatific Vision. Often, Catholic parishes invite parishioners to write the names of their deceased loved ones in a "Book of Remembrance", to have prayers and masses offered for these souls during the month of November.

All Souls' Day is not a holy day of obligation.

And, I guess this very little teaching qualifies as a Little Teaching, so it gets the icon!


  1. Love your Little Teaching post here! These 3 days remind me of a "Fall Triduum" like a Spring Triduum at Easter :) I never thought of All Hallows Eve, All Saints Day and All Souls Day like this, but it came to me after I read this post of yours. Thanks! I linked up to your post on my All Hallows/All Saints Day post here:

    1. You are right, wow! I hadn't really thought of it as a triduum, either, but I like that! Thanks for linking me up! :)

  2. I really love this time of year when the local missionaries here devote a whole month to Mass and prayer for our deceased relatives and invite everyone to submit names of loved ones to be offered each Mass. And the altar cloth has names of deceased loved ones embroidered.

    It’s just so powerful. After all is said and done and we are physically no more, love remains. There is no power that can stop that love from living on and on and on. That is a comfort and joy in itself. And remembering the dead is a beautiful way to celebrate unity in our faith as Catholics.

    Fr. had a simple but striking homily at Mass. He reminded us that we're all saintly people (on our way, really) without a clue of what heaven is really like, but the point is that we're seeking God in whatever way, in our time and day, and how the most important thing is how well we love, forgive, and show mercy. How well have I loved? We will be judged on how much light we have brought to the world, on how much we have affected this world with love because everyone matters. To God, everyone matters and so to us, as well. He got into the reality of how we most likely won't be officially declared saints by the Church, but that doesn't matter; that those declarations serve as signs of hope that if this person can make it, then so can I. Our job is to commit to getting there.

    There was a lot delivered in his rather casual sounding homily, but sometimes things strike you differently, you know? Like, yeah, thanks for putting it so plainly and real for me, Father. It boosts the soul to hear it so encouragingly.

    Add to this all the recent news stories of celebrities and ‘religious cult’ nuttiness, and it’s just one of those days where you leave church with an extra hop in your step-- so thankful and blessed by God to be Catholic!

  3. Nubby, amen! Beautiful! And oh, how blessed we are when a homily hits a soul that profoundly!


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