Halloween, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day
How to celebrate
Father David Jones
From the perspective of the church, we understand Halloween or All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints’ Eve in connection with All Saints Day. Just as we anticipate Sunday Mass on Saturday evening, we anticipate All Saints’ Day on the evening before November 1st.
In other words we start to pray in thanksgiving for all the saints, living and deceased, known and unknown. It’s important to know that there are saints. People whose lives are marked with the holiness we all are called to strive for in life.
Canonization is the process that allows the church to recognize someone as a saint. We don’t make saints, they already exist by God. The question is do we recognize them? All Saints’ Day is on the calendar to remind us to celebrate all the saints, those recognized or canonized, as well as those unrecognized.
It is a Solemnity and a Holy Day of Obligation to remind us how important it is to celebrate holiness.
Saints are those who have achieved the beatific vision to see things as God sees things. They exist and work with the Lord from heaven above.
After thanking God for holiness, our prayers and attention is called to assist All Souls. On this day we acknowledge what we acknowledge at every Catholic funeral when we sing “Somebody Prayed for Me.” It is our hope that our church will pray for each of us as we go to meet our Maker. All Souls’ Day organizes us so that in the course of the year we are certain to pray for all the souls that have gone before us.
In praying for the saints and the souls we are praying for holiness and just a closer walk with the Lord. We are praying that heaven and earth are connected. We are praying now forever and ever.
It’s just another day’s journey and another day’s prayer that connects us as church so we can call on Jesus to help somebody so that our living and our dying shall not be in vain.