News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton: All Saints and All Souls
If there was ever any doubt about the increasing secularisation of our society, one only needs to walk into any of the high street supermarkets to see the huge displays of Halloween fancy dress, pumpkins and all things ghostly and ghastly! It's BIG business and many children (and their parents) get swept away with all the “fun and excitement”, without understanding (or possibly without due regard to) the sinister undertones to the whole event. It has become so ingrained into our society that I even heard a commentator on the radio describe this week as the “Halloween Half-term Holiday”. Some churches have tried in recent years to organise contra-activities, such as “Light Night Parties”, but as we know the mystery of the occult and the draw of “the dark side” is very strong! Whether we view children dressing up as witches and ghosts on one night of the year as “just a bit of fun” or whether we should prefer to concentrate on a deeper devotion to Our Lord through prayer and worship will be up to each one of us to decide.
Of course, some may ask why we need a Feast for All Saints when we have specific dates for each of them through the year. This weekend we are not thinking about the individual Saints and Martyrs that we can name and who may have a date in the liturgical calendar given over to their memory, but the host of Saints whose names we may never know. Those who have lived “saintly lives” and have followed in the footsteps of Our Lord and given their lives in the service of God. These are the people who we acclaim on the Feast of All Saints and give thanks for their life and witness.
In a very similar way, we offer thanks on All Souls' Day for all the Faithful Departed. For those who have recently died, perhaps through Covid, from a long-term illness or suddenly without warning. For members of our family who have gone before us, for friends and loved ones, and for all who have made their final journey to life eternal.
Our first Mass of Sunday falls (conveniently) on All Hallows Eve, 31st October at 6.00pm. The Parish Mass for All Saints is at 10.30am on Sunday 1st November. There are two Masses on Monday for The Commemoration of All The Faithful Departed (All Souls' Day) at 10.00am and at 6.30pm.
May they Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory!