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Monday, November 1, 2010

All Saints’ Day in Focus

Photo by Rusty

We went to visit Dad’s burial place three days before All Saints’ Day. It was the second time after his death in December of 2008.  

We avoided the surge of people coming to cemeteries every November 1 so we decided to visit days before it. It was not a surprise that there were a number of people already inside the cemetery. Some were early visitors like us but most of them were there to clean up the tombs especially the marble markers.

When we arrived, there was an old woman sitting on the grass lawn near Dad’s place together with a young woman who seemed to be her daughter. After a while, she broke a conversation. She was complaining that the caretaker was not taking care of her husband’s burial place. She was obviously disappointed. I just didn’t know if she was paying the tomb caretaker.

All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day are important days for Christian families especially in our country. According to Catholic Catechism, the Catholic faithful commemorate all those who have attained the beatific vision in Heaven on All Saints’ Day. The following day, All Souls' Day, they commemorate the departed faithful who have not yet been purified and reached heaven. Catholics celebrate All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day in the fundamental belief that there is a prayerful spiritual communion between those in the state of grace who have died and are either being purified in purgatory (the 'church penitent') or are in heaven (the 'church triumphant'), and the 'church militant' who are the living (info Wikipedia).

They believe that these are days of remembrance, celebration and prayer. These are occasions to remember with respect, honor & affection all those beloved people, now at peace, whose lives are intertwined with ours, who have served to shape our lives and whose influences contributed to what we are and what we are becoming.

Non-Catholic Christians also observe the tradition but not for the same theological substance but to be with family members and together celebrate the memory of their beloved who have gone ahead to the eternal kingdom in heaven.

The photo above is from a blog article by Rusty
@ Philippines Experience Blog: "Haloween in the Philippines"
Follow the link below to read his article in full
Philippines Experience Blog: "Halloween in the Philippines"

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