Wednesday, November 1, 2017, is All Saints Day, also known as the Feast of All Saints. On this day, Catholics honor the saints who have been recognized by the Church as well as all of the faithful who have entered Heaven. All Saints Day is a holy day of obligation, and while this holy day is celebrated in Catholic cultures around the world, Catholic Online explains that the specific rules regarding the obligations of the day differ according to each country’s national bishop’s conference. In the United States, church members are required, or obligated, to attend Mass unless something like a serious illness keeps them from doing so, or if November 1 falls on a Saturday or Monday.
The prominent message of All Saints Day is the reminder of how we should live. On the Feast of All Saints, Nov 1, 2013, at Vatican City, Pope Francis highlighted this sacred duty:
The Saints are not supermen, nor were they born perfect. They are like us, like each one of us. They are people who, before reaching the glory of heaven, lived normal lives with joys and sorrows, struggles and hopes. What changed their lives? When they recognized God’s love, they followed it with all their heart without reserve or hypocrisy. They spent their lives serving others, they endured suffering and adversity without hatred and responded to evil with good, spreading joy and peace. This is the life of a Saint.
In the 2015 Holy Mass on the Solemnity of All Saints, Pope Francis conveys:
This is what the Saints did, those who have preceded us to our heavenly home. They accompany us on our earthly pilgrimage, they encourage us to go forward. May their intercession help us to walk on Jesus’ path, and to obtain eternal happiness for our deceased brothers and sisters, for whom we offer this Mass.
All Saints Day comes between All Hallows' Eve, which today is called Halloween, and All Souls Day. For a short, digestible lesson on all three that is great for your whole family, visit Catholic Culture’s “Family Celebration Ideas for Halloween, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day.”
If you are looking for ways to celebrate and educate your child on All Saints Day and the neighboring holidays, see the activity resources for all ages that the Religion Teacher has pulled together and shared. Click on the link and find games, coloring, crafts, lessons, and more.
How does your family celebrate All Saints Day? Let us know on our social media pages.