Sunday, November 2, 2008

Feast of All Souls

Dear All,

This weekend is a very interesting one, as it started on Friday with Halloween, which means “Hallow’s” eve.  Hallows are Saints, therefore the evening of the Feast of All Saints, on Saturday.  Halloween is special in our family, as we celebrate the birthday of both of our sons, Christian and Alex.  Happy Birthday boys!!!!

And then on Sunday we celebrate the Feast All Souls.  Rooted in ancient Christian tradition, as witnessed by Tertullian in the 2nd century A.D., St. Odilo of Cluny established a memorial of all the faithful departed in 988.  We commemorate on this day all those who died… family, relatives, friends, close or distant.  We pray for their eternal peace. The practice of prayer for the dead is already mentioned in The Old Testament Book of the Maccabees, from the 2nd century B.C, when Judas Maccabeus “made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin”.  From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers for them, so that they may join the banquet with God.

No matter how well we try to keep ourselves up, no matter how many times a week we walk, run, play tennis, go to health clubs, etc., our bodies are eventually going to give out on us.  Death is certainly not a popular subject, particularly in many Western societies where we make believe that people will live forever.  However, the Early Christians knew that death was part of life, a reality that people knew was always there for them.  They lived preparing for the end of the world or the ends of their own worlds.  Their lives were motivated by such a deep faith in God that they saw death as getting in total union with Him.  That is a fitting Christian attitude:  We believe that there is far more to reality than physical certainty.  We believe in God and in his promise of eternal life.

The Readings for the Feast of All Souls speak about:

First Reading from the Book of Wisdom tells about the passing away of our loved ones being painful for us (“thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction”), yet they will be in peace.

Saint Paul writes to the Romans in the Second Reading, that Hope does not disappoint and that through Christ we will be saved.

John tells us in today’s Gospel that the will of God the Father is, that everyone who believes in the Son may have eternal life.

A complete text of the readings at:

With God’s Love and Blessings,


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