November 1st is All Saints’ Day, a principal holy day on the Church Calendar. Indeed, it is a day of obligation in catholic tradition. This year, quite happily, it falls on a Sunday, allowing participation by the largest number of people on the day itself.
The day and its octave commemorate the saints who have passed from earthly life into the land of life and joy. While we truly rejoice in those super star believers of Scripture and Church history that are often depicted in stained glass, we commemorate too all the people of God who have been sanctified by the Spirit and gone from this world to the next.
And although from the middle ages on the Church saw fit to remember the two separately, i.e., the greater from the lesser known, the latter being given a day of their own, November 2nd, we will do so jointly on Sunday, the 1st . We will recount by name at the Altar those who have passed from the Parish family in the past year as well as all those indicated on the inserted form.
All Saints’ Day is also one of four customary days for baptism by the Church. Ritually, then, the saints who have gone before are connected to those beginning their journey of
faith. This gives the day and the season a unique drama and color, declaring as it does
something of the length and breadth and depth of the Church of Christ.
In keeping with the festival nature of All Saints’ Day, a Reception Luncheon in honor of both the faithful departed and the faithful newly arrived by baptism will follow the ten-thirty service in the Foyer at noontime. Everyone is invited, and contributions of favorite dishes will be gratefully received.
– JR Hiles