Halloween jack-o-lanterns don’t hold a candle to the 3-day journey with the faithfully departed. Decidedly different than current cultural expressions of Halloween, it is a celebration of transformation and redeemed life.
Beginning on All Hallows Eve (Oct 31) and ending on All Souls Day (Nov 2) Catholic’s have a three day focus on those who have gone before us in faith. The sequence is:
- All Hallows Eve – Technically part of All Saints Day since holy days, including Sundays begin the evening before. Remember in the first chapter of Genesis the interesting phrasing “and evening came and morning followed – the first day…”
- All Saints Day – Remembrance of all Saints; those who attained the glory of heaven.
- All Souls Day – Remembrance of all the dead with efforts on our part including prayer, almsgiving, and celebration of the Mass toward their release from Purgatory.
This three day series can serve to make us mindful that this world, our lives and our bodies are all temporary. They also remind us of our connectedness. We are made for community with others and ultimately for communion with God who made us. Pursuit of a holy life is not a lone ranger quest. We rely on each other and the holy men and women who have gone before us. Together we find the strength, insight, devotion needed to overcome any obstacle in life. We also give our ourselves in prayer and almsgiving to ensure those who go before us attain the full glory of heaven.
Prayer for the Poor Souls in Purgatory
V. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.
R. And let the perpetual light shine upon them.
And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
V. Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine.
R. Et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Fidelium animae, per misericordiam Dei, requiescant in pace. Amen.