We are moving to the last phase of catch-up for the many things that were postponed or delayed with the onset of COVID-19 in March. On Saturday, October 24, and Saturday, October 31, we will conclude the last major catch-up event by celebrating First Communion Masses with the remaining children who were scheduled to celebrate this important moment in their lives back in the spring. It took five liturgies to accomplish this given social distancing, etc., but I’m very happy to see these children reach this milestone in their lives. Please join me in congratulating them!
November 1 (All Saints Day) and November 2 (All Souls Day) are upon us soon, both feasts having an ancient history in the Catholic Church. The first remembers the numerable uncanonized saints who do not have a day on the liturgical calendar dedicated to them like Sts. Francis and Clare do, some of whom may be your relatives or friends. The second is set aside to pray for all the faithful departed, to remember them by name, and to commend them to the Lord, especially those who may have gone into eternity with sin still on their souls.
“As Catholics, we have a tradition of praying for our deceased relatives and friends. It is a way of continuing our relationship with them and assisting them on their journey to heaven.” (Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth, 124). Because we retain a relationship with our beloved dead, praying with and for them is one way we stay connected to them until we see them face to face in eternity.
At St. Francis, we will remember our beloved dead throughout the month of November. You are invited to submit the names of family members and friends whom you would like to have remembered in prayer and at Masses. You may also place those names on your All Souls Day envelope. These names will be transcribed into a Book of Remembrance and the envelopes will be placed on the altar in the church. Both will remain in the church until the First Sunday of Advent, November 29. Remembering our beloved dead anytime is a venerable tradition in Catholicism, but November is especially appropriate as our lectionary readings focus on the end of life and the end of time.
Because of COVID-19 some of our traditional All Souls Day practices need to be temporarily suspended. We will restore them once we are able to be back in closer proximity to one another.