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According to Merriam-Webster, the word all can be defined as whole, entire, total, including everything or everyone without exception. How comforting to consider that the definition of all when celebrating the feasts of All Saints and All Souls includes everyone! We the living, all who have gone before us, and all who will come after. This all like the Book of Revelation says is “a great multitude that no one can count, from every nation, tribe, people and language” (Revelation 7:9).

Although all is common to both feasts, they are distinct celebrations. All Saints’ Day being celebrated on November 1st is a day to remember all saints and martyrs during Christian history. It is followed by All Souls’ Day on November 2nd a day to commemorate those who have passed within the faith. On All Saints’ Day we pray for Saints to intercede for us as we continue our life’s journey. On All Souls’ Day we pray in hope that our departed brothers and sisters will share in Jesus’ Resurrection.

These feasts give us an opportunity to exercise our all. We can go to Mass, visit a cemetery, and pray for the dead (family and friends, and those forgotten who have no one to pray for them).  We can read up on the lives of the Saints (our name’s sake, our favorite, or someone obscure). And most of all, with Paul, we give thanks to the Father who has made us fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light (Colossians 1:12).


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