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Posts tagged: All Saints' Day

Feast of the Saints

They know how to do it: survive and support each other and share what they have. They are, after all, New Yorkers.  

The power, offering light and heat, remains a memory and a wish; refrigerators simply store food, not chill it, while folks wildly seek sources to charge their communication centers: cell phones.  

Tonight, on Hallow’s Eve, we await tomorrow’s holy day: All Saints’ Day. A day when Catholics and others share a tradition of celebrating those who have gone before us, remarkable people who showed compassion and love and sacrifice and courage and sought justice and welcomed the stranger.  People of faith who responded to their call to serve others, their call to love God, by loving God’s creatures, by lessening suffering with comfort and kindness, amid chaos.  

We do not have to look to our deceased patron saints to celebrate the Feast of All Saints. Tonight, many of those saints are working without sleep, or food or warm clothes. They brave the midnight darkness to work within the chaos and make order. They offer peace and kindness and hope.  

They are, after all, New Yorkers.

(S-R photo)

Hallowed, holy and fun

A trilogy of holidays is upon us. While the children are counting their trick-or-treat candy pieces, other folks will be preparing for the other holidays which are attached to Halloween (All Hallows' Eve).   

November 1 is All Saints' Day - a feast day in the Catholic Church and some Protestant denominations when believers honor all saints - known and unknown.  

November 2 is All Souls' Day - a feast that observes the departed souls who didn't make it to sainthood status. Basically, our deceased friends and loved ones.  

The tradition of going door to door and asking for candy is similar to the late medieval practice of souling: when poor people would go to homes and ask for food in exchange for saying prayers for the dead on All Souls' Day.  

Today, the Day of the Dead, as it is known in the Latin American culture, is gaining popularity in the United States.  Often families will take picnics to the cemetery and decorate the graves of deceased love ones.

 Whatever your beliefs  at Hallows' Eve, the kids are cute, the candy is tasty and everyday is a good one for remembering those whose earthly journeys have ceased.

(S-R archives photo)

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Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

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