By Sister Jane Geiger, MHSH
THE FEAST OF ALL SOULS, November 2, suggests a different mood from that of All Saints Day. (See previous post.) It is a day for remembering our beloved dead. We know death and loss touch us deeply and often leave us with confused feelings. How can we celebrate? The Feast of All Souls helps us to deal with this. The prayers and readings of the liturgy acknowledge the pain and loss we feel in separation, but they also give us reasons to be hopeful and to maintain our peace.
We are invited to pray for those who have died, to recall the importance and meaning of their lives for us and even to rejoice with them in the happiness they now know. They are relieved of their suffering. They are rewarded for a good life. They find peace and rest. They sit down at the banquet table of the Lord.
We learn to accommodate our sense of bereavement with the realization of their triumph. We discover a new relationship with the deceased and learn that they are not lost to us. From their place in heaven they still love us, pray for us and share our belief that we will be reunited one day in the resurrection of the dead.
“Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25: 34)