Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Hallows' Eve

October 31 is Halloween. The word “Halloween” is a corruption of the words “Hallows' Eve,” and the word “hallow” is, in turn, derived from the word “holy.” In Latin, the word “holy” is “sanctus,” from which we get the word “saint.” Thus, October 31, Halloween, is actually “Saints' Eve.”

Accordingly, on November 1, we celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints, both those who are known and formally canonized, and those who are known but to God. The Solemnity is a Holy Day of Obligation and, as Pope Benedict explained last year, it "invites us to raise our eyes to heaven and to meditate on the fullness of the divine life that awaits us. . . . Holiness – imprinting Christ on ourselves – is the purpose of Christian living."

In the Apostle’s Creed, we profess our faith in the “communion of saints.” And, as the name suggests, on this Solemnity, we celebrate all of the saints, that is, all of the holy men and women in heaven. (On Wednesday, November 2, we pray for all of the faithful departed in purgatory, All Souls Day.) Tomorrow, on All Saints Day, we also ask the saints in heaven to intercede on our behalf, to pray for us. The saints do not "rest in peace" - they continue to work in the vineyard of the Lord, loving us and praying for us.

Here is a very beautiful and traditional Litany of the Saints, which was prayed at the funeral for Blessed Pope John Paul II of happy memory (santo subito).


Jan said...

Happy Halloween to you, too.

That previous post looked kind of familiar...:)

Bender said...

And you as well.

I understand that nuptial congratulations are also in order. May the blessings of the Lord be upon them always.

As for that other thing, yes, I know it is difficult . . . for me too.

Jan said...

Thank you very much for your kind wishes.

Difficult...yes, very much so...