Wednesday, October 31, 2007

All Hallows Eve and Wednesday Religion

Today's religion reading centred on the eighth commandment - thou shalt not bear false witness. What does that mean for our every day life, for all we say and do?

We also discussed the saints - this is the week of All Saints, isn't it? Thomas read about the martyrs, about the Doctors of the Church, of St Athanasius and the Arian heresy, of St Benedict and monasticism.

Alexander is yet to complete and share his religion reading...He has a love/hate relationship with his Scott Hahn book. Hates the writing style and loves it when he finishes a section!

And ~ We also celebrated All Hallow's Eve.

The Solemnity of All Saints is celebrated on November 1. It is a Solemnity,it is the day that the Church honours all of God's saints, even those who have not been canonized by the Church.Pope Sixtus IV in 1484 established November 1 as a holyday of obligation and gave it a vigil (known today as "All Hallows' Eve" or "Hallowe'en").

The Church recognizes Solemnities and Sundays as high feast days that last longer than a day. The celebration starts the evening before, as mentioned in The General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar: "Solemnities are counted as the principal days in the calendar and their observance begins with evening prayer of the preceding day. Some also have their own vigil Mass for use when Mass is celebrated in the evening of the preceding day. "

In England, saints or holy people are called "hallowed", hence the name "All Hallow's Day". The evening, or "e'en" before the feast became popularly known as "All Hallows' Eve" or even shorter, "Hallowe'en".

November 2 was the date designated to pray for all the departed souls in Purgatory, the Feast of All Souls. The feasts of All Saints and All Souls fall back to back to express the Christian belief of the "Communion of Saints." The Communion of Saints is the union of all the faithful on earth (the Church militant), the saints in Heaven (the Church Triumphant) and the Poor Souls in Purgatory (the Church suffering), with Christ as the Head. They are bound together by a supernatural bond, and can help one another. The Church Militant (those on earth still engaged in the struggle to save their souls) can venerate the Church Triumphant, and those saints can intercede with God for those still on earth. Both the faithful on earth and the saints in heaven can pray for the souls in Purgatory

On All Souls Day and November 1-8 one can gain plenary indulgences for the Poor Souls.

We tried to remember some of these concepts and talked of indulgences, while having an All Hallows Eve mini party.

Made paper chains and blew up balloons.

We bobbed for apples. We had donut eating contests. We ate nibbles, had a barbecue, ate sweets.

And laughed. Enjoyed the company of family and friends. Don't our kids and friends look great, dressed up? Dh with "hump" on his back. Me , in pink, trying to eat a donut - hands free!

Prayed the De Profundis for the dead ~ "Out of the depths I have cried unto thee, O Lord..."

Tomorrow we'll pray the Litany of the Saints, and attend Mass.

Happy All Saints to all! And thanks to those who attended our mini party!


Ladybug Mommy Maria said...

Looks like a lot of fun!

Leonie said...

It was! Happy All Saints, Maria!