Tuesday, November 2, 2010

All Souls

Both in the school where I teach and in my church, there is a book of the dead, a place to record names of loved ones who have died and whom we wish to remember in prayer. In addition, my parish always has a special Mass to which are invited the families of all those who have been buried from the parish in the last year. They bring a Christmas ornament that in some way is a remembrance of the person, and those ornaments are hung on one of the Christmas trees that will decorate the church in a few weeks. At the Mass, family members light candles as the names of the dead are read aloud.

I think that these rituals bring a degree of comfort, that they impart an element of strength. Their purpose is to help us remember, but also to offer hope. Our faith is one of hope that death is not the end.