Pastor’s Corner for the Solemnity of All Saints, Year C by Rev. Fr. Nobert Munekani SJ

What is All Saints’ Day?

Traditionally, All Saints honors all the saints, known and unknown, who now enjoy the beatific vision, or communion, with God. The Solemnity is celebrated on November 1 as a time of prayer for those who have attained heaven. It is a time when we express gratitude toward God for the lives and deaths of His saints. However, the Episcopal Conference has moved the celebration of this day to Sunday the 6th of November.

All Saints Day is celebrated by several Christian denominations, including The Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, the Methodist Church, the Church of the Nazarene, the Lutheran Church, the Reformed Church, and other Protestant churches.

The tradition of celebrating the saints and martyrs has been marked by Christians ever since the 4th century but it was only formalized for the first time in 609AD when Pope Boniface IV decreed that all martyrs should also be celebrated on the 13 May during something he called the Feast of All Holy Martyrs.

In 837AD Pope Gregory IV extended the festival to include saints, renaming the festival the Feast of All Saints and changing the date to November 1. So, All Saints Day is a time to be thankful for all those Christians who have lived before us, whether they are officially saints or not. Some are the great teachers and prophets from history. Some are those who’ve taught and inspired us personally.

Some are our friends and family. We can thank God for their witness, and for the way they have transmitted the faith down the generations. We can learn from their lives. We can take time to be grateful for what we’ve received, and to recommit ourselves to follow in their footsteps.    

What is All Souls’ Day?

All Souls Day embraces all the faithful deceased who are in the process of achieving perfect communion with God.

All Souls Day is an opportunity to remember deceased loved ones and honor the One who loved them into life and received them in death. All Souls Day reminds us that the veil between this life and the next is often quite thin. Our prayers radiate beyond this lifetime, bringing greater light to the post-mortem journeys of our loved ones. Conversely, in the interdependence of life, the prayers and energies of deceased beloved friends and family members may support us on our earthly pilgrimages.

Indeed, death does not end the human adventure, nor does it terminate God’s love for us. The afterlife is a time of personal and relational evolution.

At St Martin de Porres, we will celebrate All Saints Day on the 6th of November 2022 at 07:00 and 08:30 respectively. At the end of both these Masses, we shall have a moment to light our family candles in memory of our faithful departed. May God bless and keep you safe.

For the Sick: Let remember to pray for the sick especially Elizabeth Mooi.

Fr. Nobert Munekani SJ

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