All Saints and All Souls 1st & 2nd November

This week we celebrate the Christian understanding of death, dying and the dead. It has little to do with the commercial nonsense of Halloween bats, witches, and ghosts.

On Wednesday we celebrate the great feast of All Saints. We remember all those faithful Christians who have gone before us and are now in the presence of God. We know only a tiny fraction by name – and we celebrate those in these pages week by week – but we know that there many, many others whose faithfulness to Christ has gained them access to heaven. And the wonderful thing is that they are praying for us to join them there.

On Thursday we celebrate the beautiful feast of All Souls. We remember those faithful Christians in Purgatory who are still waiting to enter Heaven, but whose salvation is assured. Many of them will be friends and relatives of ours who have gone before us. They are praying for us too, but we are also called to pray for them to be cleansed completely from their sins.

There is nothing ‘spooky’ about all this. The dead are not to be feared but to be loved. We are part of a great communion of believers that transcends time and space. It is a community that is based on the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.

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