Every year we celebrate the Feast of All Saints on November 1st and the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed on November 2nd. It is important to remember that through our Baptism into Christ that we, too, are called to be saints, called to be God’s holy ones. Clearly we are aware of our faults and failings, as much as the saints were aware of their faults and failings. But in living the Beatitudes, in living our lives in faith and following Christ we move towards the reign of God like saints did.
Along the way we encounter the death of our loved ones, the faithful departed those who gave us life, those with whom we shared life, and those whom you through love have given the gift of life, your daughters and sons. Approaching the family holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, it is a poignant time when we often remember our family members and friends who have preceded us. These can be difficult times for those who grieve over a family member. Even though it has been over eleven years since our mother unexpectedly died, her presence is still missed at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Mom always coordinated the meals over those holidays, baking cookies and planning for the big feasts. We miss her still.
For the past ten years we have gathered together on the Thursday before Thanksgiving for a Mass of Consolation. This year we celebrate the Mass of Consolation on Thursday, November 17th at 7:30 PM for anyone who has experienced any kind of loss this past year, the death of a family member, the loss of job, loss of a relationship, or any other kind of loss. Let us pray together that we might receive God’s healing peace. During the Mass we will read the names of those people who died this past year, some that we buried from the church, and hear the names of family members who died in other places and the parish prayed for them.
After the names are read, the family members who are present will have the opportunity come up and light a vigil candle from the Easter candle, symbolizing the light of Christ, to lift up your special personal prayer, personal need or request for the consolation you desire and place those lit candles in a glass holder on a table in back of the altar. Please come so that we can pray together that night and share in the light, peace and hope of the Lord.
As a faith community, we have this opportunity to come together to support one another, offer each other our thoughts and prayers, offer our gift of self to help others walk the journey, to receive and experience in time the peace only God can give.
Father Larry Hendel, Pastor