|ALL SAINTS DAY – As Catholics, we name our children after Saints. We bring them to be baptized in Catholic Churches that are often named for Saints. We honor them by veneration of their relics. We wear holy medals with their images and often the petition, “Pray for us.” Our homes are filled with holy cards, statues and paintings of the Saints. We turn to them for assistance, offering novenas. We profess our belief in the Communion of Saints when we recite the Creed. Among all the Saints to whom we offer devotion, Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, claims the most honored place.
Through the centuries, the Church has honored the Saints by naming many in the Eucharistic prayer and by celebrating their individual Feast Day, although there are simply too many of these holy souls to honor each individually. On November 1, the Catholic Church gives us a little help with The Feast of All Saints gives honor to each of them and all as a whole.
|While Halloween glorifies elements of death, the Feast of All Saints emphasizes that with Christ who triumphed over death as the head of the Church, all members of the Church, whether living or dead, are connected in life. On this day, we celebrate the Church triumphant – those who have gained entry into heaven.
Pope Boniface IV was the first to proclaim a collective Feast Day for the Saints with the Feast of All Holy Martyrs on May 13, 610 AD to honor all of the martyrs whose names were not recorded elsewhere. The date and name was later changed by Pope Gregory IV in 835 AD to our present tradition of celebrating All Saints Day on November 1. Tradition holds that the reasons for the changes were to take advantage of the abundance of food after the fall harvest and to honor those Saints who were not martyrs.
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Visit our shop for Saint books and statues
|Today, All Saints Day is a holy day of obligation. All Catholics are required to attend Mass to abstain from servile work. Virtually all Catholic schools are closed, so it is a wonderful day to celebrate with your parish family and in the domestic Church — your Catholic home!
At Mass, children can be invited to carry banners in honor of the Saints, and even to dress up as the Saints. Ask you pastor if members of the congregation might bring in the statues and images of the Saints that are important to their families to be displayed in an appropriate location in the Church. This St. Therese Costume and many others are available in our shop
If your Catholic parish has a collection of relics of the Saints, perhaps these can be placed on a side altar for veneration with an opportunity for the faithful to light candles. If there is a relic of the Patron Saint of that particular parish, a blessing might be offered.
Don’t forget to include “For All The Saints” in the selection of hymns. You’ll find the keyboard music here and the lyrics here. You can listen here.
And of course, it would be nice to chant or recite the Litany of the Saints.
Celebrating at Home
For Inspiration – Read the charming account of one family’s celebrations – THE SAINTS From Around the Year with the TRAPP FAMILY by Maria Augusta Trapp
- If you’re planning a children’s party, invite everyone to come dressed as their name saint. Here is a link to making easy costumes.
- Here are some All Saints Day party ideas from the Domestic Church
- Set the dinner table with place cards featuring a little Holy Card of your guest’s Saint. You can print out images from the Patron Saints website.
- Invite everyone to bring a picture or statue of their favorite saint and set up a home altar display. Provide votive candles for each family member or guest to light. Don’t forget to take a photo to share with us!
- Show a video about an important or favorite Saint
- Decide today that you will read a chapter from the Lives of the Saints each day.
- Visit Saint of the Day – a wonderful Catholic site.