The Last Judgment, by Hans Memling, 1466-1473
The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed
All Souls Day Prayer
you are the glory of believers
and the life of the just.
Your Son redeemed us
by dying and rising to life again.
Since our departed brothers and sisters
believed in the mystery of our resurrection,
let them share the joys and blessings
of the life to come.
The Forerunners of Christ with Saints and Martyrs, 15th century, Tempera on Wood
A Prayer to All the Saints
Today, dear friends in heaven,
we celebrate your feast.
We celebrate again the feasts of all the saints we know,
and whom we honor day by day through the year.
But we also honor today all the saints in heaven
whom we do not know.
We can not help thinking, on this day,
that no one of us lacks a model to follow in one of you.
We look around us at the familiar persons and things
and activities that fill our every day lives,
and we find that they are little different from the persons,
things, and activities that filled your lives.
We have the same human nature,
wounded by the sin of Adam and Eve,
but strengthened marvelously by grace,
and fed and sanctified by the sacraments and prayer.
We have exactly the same sacraments that you had,
we have the same Christ,
the same Blessed Mother,
the same trials,
sickness, pain, temptation,
the same joys, pleasures,
and happiness that crowded your lives.
Then it must be true that,
with the same means,
we should be able to work out our lives
in the same holiness and sanctity as yours, dear saints.
Help us to do this.
Help us to see the opportunities for holiness
that fill our everyday lives.
Obtain for us, by your prayers,
the deep understanding and appreciation
of spiritual things that were yours.
Help us to see, too,
in the beauty of the world in which we live,
some slight mirroring of the eternal beauty
which you now see, as you gaze on God.
But let us not be deceived
into thinking that this earthly beauty,
this worldly pleasure, is an end in itself.
Let us use it wisely and moderately,
our hearts always yearning to come at last
to the final beauty and joy,
the possession of God Himself,
with you, in heaven.
All Saints, 18th Century
Solemnity of All Saints
God our Father, source of all holiness,
the work of your hands is manifest in your saints,
the beauty of your truth is reflected in their faith.
May we who aspire to have part in their joy
be filled with the Spirit that blessed their lives,
so that having shared their faith on earth
we may also know their peace in your kingdom.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.