During November, the liturgy calls to mind and honors those who have "fallen asleep in the hope of the resurrection" [Eucharistic Prayer II]. The first of these celebrations during the month is the Solemnity of All Saints.
The Solemnity of All Saints, also known as All Saints Day, is celebrated on November 1st and is a Holy Day of Obligation. To find Mass times for parishes in your area, go to the Diocese of Dallas Parish Finder or our Google Map of Parishes for the diocese.
All Saints Day - Celebration of the Communion of Saints
When we speak of the Communion of Saints, this refers to the communion between holy persons (sancti); that is, between those who by grace are united to the dead and risen Christ. Some are pilgrims on the earth; others, having passed from this life, are undergoing purification and are helped also by our prayers. Others already enjoy the glory of God and intercede for us. All of these together form in Christ one family, the Church, to the praise and glory of the Trinity. (Compendium to CCC 194)
Pope Emeritus Benedict explains the importance of this feast day in his Angelus message on All Saints Day 2012:
This feast day helps us to reflect on the double horizon of humanity, which we symbolically express with the words “earth” and “heaven”: the earth represents the journey of history, heaven eternity, the fullness of life in God. And so this feast day helps us to think about the Church in its dual dimension: the Church journeying in time and the Church that celebrates the never-ending feast, the heavenly Jerusalem. These two dimensions are united by the reality of the “Communion of Saints”: a reality that begins here on earth and that reaches its fulfillment in heaven.
Veneration of the Saints
Many popular devotional practices involve veneration of the saints. The saints have a special place in the Body of Christ, which includes both the living and the dead. Through Christ we on earth remain in communion both with the saints in heaven and with the dead who are still in Purgatory. We can pray for those in Purgatory and ask the saints to pray for us. Through their prayers of intercession, the saints in heaven play an integral role in the life of the Church on earth. "For after they have been received into their heavenly home and are present to the Lord, through Him and with Him and in Him they do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, showing forth the merits which they won on earth through the one Mediator between God and man." The saints, the members of the Church who have arrived at perfect union with Christ, join their wills to the will of God in praying for those in the Church who are still on their pilgrimage of faith.
Besides what the saints can do for us by their prayers, the very practice of venerating the saints does great good for those who are devoted to the saints. By practicing love of the saints we strengthen the unity of the entire Body of Christ in the Spirit. This in turn brings us all closer to Christ. "For just as Christian communion among wayfarers brings us closer to Christ, so our companionship with the saints joins us to Christ, from Whom as from its Fountain and Head issues every grace and the very life of the people of God." Love of the saints necessarily includes and leads to love of Christ and to love of the Holy Trinity. "For every genuine testimony of love shown by us to those in heaven, by its very nature tends toward and terminates in Christ who is the 'crown of all saints,' and through Him, in God Who is wonderful in his saints and is magnified in them."
—From "Popular Devotional Practices" (USCCB.com)
Resources for All Saints Day
- The making of a saint - USCCB
- Resources for All Saints and All Souls Day - Department of Catechetical Service
- Make Cupcakes and Door Hangers for All Saints/ Celebrando Todos los Santos con Pastelitos - Craft Project for Children
- Tell Me about the Saints - PowerPoint Presentation (English)
- Háblame de Los Santos - PowerPoint Presentation (Spanish)
- El Día de Los Santos - Crossword Puzzle (Spanish)