Father Steve Grunow shares his homily for All Souls Day, a day in which we pray for the dead. These prayers serve a mighty purpose, for they are our pipeline to those purgatory, and part of their journey to heaven. This isn't a "here" vs. "there" relationship, but one that draws us all into the divine life of Jesus Christ.
The feast of All Souls, or the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed, is the day on which Masses offered are intended for the benefit of the dead.
This particular practice seems to have originated with the monasteries associated with the Cluniac reform, and quickly gained momentum in terms of popular piety.
The theological reasoning that undergirds the practice of offering Masses for the dead is inextricably linked to the Church’s understanding of Purgatory, but perhaps more importantly, to the Communion of Saints. The Communion of Saints insists that the dead remain in a relationship with the living, and both can intercede for one another. This prayerful rapport is to the benefit of both.
The Communion of Saints also means that the Church is simultaneously a reality of earth and of heaven and the two co-inhere with each other in tangible ways...
This Halloween weekend, Father Steve speaks about the connection between the celebration of All Hallows' Eve, All Souls' Day, and the ritual and tradition of the Catholic Church-- a connection which he explains has been largely lost. Read his commentary here.
We regret to inform you that this year’s Halloween celebration has been cancelled. Because the celebration of All Saint’s this year is preceded by a Sunday, many bishops in the United States have determined that the obligation to attend Mass this year on the Solemnity of All Saints has been abrogated. Given this fact the traditional festivities celebrated on the eve of All Saints Day (aka “All Hallows Eve”) are also no longer obligatory. We are sorry for any disappointment that this may cause, but there is always next year....
(And, don't forget to watch Father Barron on WGN America tomorrow, Sunday the 31st!)