31 Oct 2016

1st November 2016 - "Lets us keep a festival in honour of all the Saints"

Solemnity of All the Saints; in Ireland November 1st marks the calendars beginning of Winter with the darkening evenings and the celebration of day (and also the month) of Samhin. As the clocks change and the evenings draw in, the earth herself heads into hibernation and rebirth. The ancient Celts saw this time as one of those during the year which was a "thin place" between this world and the next.

All Hallows Eve (Halloween) and the celebrations of All Saints and All Soul's are a reminder to us that our nearest and dearest who have died are not really that far away and that we honour and pray for and with each other in the Communion of Saints especially at this time of the year.

Whilst you remember your own loved ones at this time, also remember to pray for those that are mourning. While time may change the pain of loss, it can never be said to truly go away; remember those who mourn and feel that pain at this time too especially for those who have lost loved ones in the last twelve months.
"For centuries the church has confronted the human community with role models of greatness. We call them saints when what we really often mean to say is 'icon,' 'star,' 'hero,' ones so possessed by an internal vision of divine goodness that they give us a glimpse of the face of God in the centre of the human. They give us a taste of the possibilities of greatness in ourselves."
Joan D. Chittister in "A Passion for Life"
From the first centuries after Christ, Christians who died a martyr’s death were considered saints, who live in God’s presence forever. Every year, on the anniversary of the martyrs’ deaths, Christians would visit their tombs and celebrate the Eucharist. This practice grew throughout the centuries to include remembering other outstanding Christians on the days they died. Soon the entire calendar was filled with memorials of the saints. In the ninth century, Pope Gregory IV designated November 1 as the day to remember all the saints living in God’s presence.

"The glorious company of the apostles praises you, the noble fellowship of the prophets praises you, the white robed army of martyrs praises you, all the saints together sing your glory, O Holy Trinity, One God"
 
- Magnificat Antiphon I Vespers



Sleepers awake, Christ is now risen
Empty the tomb risen the son X2
Alleluia x4
Marked with the cross, sealed with the Spirit
Risen with Christ, sing out our joy x2
Alleluia x4
Death has been slain; life is victorious
Winter is past; Springtime returns x2
Alleluia x6
 From the second reading of the Office of Readings from St Bernard of Clairvaux:
Why should our praise and glorification, or even the celebration of this feast day mean anything to the saints? What do they care about earthly honours when their heavenly Father honours them by fulfilling the faithful promise of the Son? What does our commendation mean to them? The saints have no need of honoru from us; neither does our devotion add the slightest thing to what is theirs. Clearly, if we venerate their memory, it serves us, not them. But I tell you, when I think of them, I feel myself inflamed by a tremendous yearning.
 
Calling the saints to mind inspires, or rather arouses in us, above all else, a longing to enjoy their company, so desirable in itself. Wee long to share in the citizenship of heaven, to dwell with the spirits of the blessed, to join the assembly of patriarchs, the ranks of the prophets, the council of apostles, the great host of martyrs, the noble company of confessors and the choir of virgins. In short, we long to be united in happiness with all the saints. But our dispositions change. The Church of all the first followers of Christ awaits us, but we do nothing about it. The saints want us to be with them, and we are indifferent. The souls of the just await us, and we ignore them.
Lectio divina reflections:

Sunday Reflections - Solemnity of All Saints 2016
English Dominicans - Where our true happiness lies 

Other resources and reflections:

No comments:

Post a Comment