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of saints and souls

Updated: Jun 1, 2019

It is that time of the year once again when we flock to cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaria to pay homage to our beloved departed. The usual solemn ambiance of these places suddenly become festive with the huge volume of guests bringing flowers, votive candles, floral offerings, food and whatnots to the tomb of their loved ones. On the other hand, malls are filled these days with customers looking for spooky OOTDs for their Halloween parties as well as tots in quest for treats, or tricks.

But let us not confuse these two events.

The All Saints' Day - which falls on the first day of November - is a Catholic celebration of all the saints in heaven, canonized or not. It started as a day of memorial of all the martyrs who died for the faith in the early centuries. There were several dates in various places for this commemoration until Pope Gregory IV (827-844) officially declared November 1 as the Feast of All Saints. The following day, November 2, the Church commemorates the departed souls by encouraging the faithful to offer Masses and prayers for them. This reminds us to constantly pray for our beloved dead as they await the beatific vision and eventually join the ranks of the saints in heaven.

Yet as time goes by, more and more entrepreneurial persons created and promoted Halloween-themed parties to encourage more fanfare, and profits - to the detriment of the real essence of the holy days. With social media as a powerful tool, these businessmen seem to succeed in bombarding us with more worldly takes on the two feast days.

So, as these hallowed days approach, let us bring back the angels and the saints! And let us pray for the souls too.


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