November’s two important feasts21 Oct 2020
November begins with two important feast days –
All Saints Day on 1 November and All Souls Day on 2 November.
Pope Francis has said that we honour the saints not because they were perfect or did everything right, but rather because they allowed God to touch their lives. The saints, he said, are above all our brothers and sisters ‘who have welcomed the light of God into their hearts and have passed it on to the world.’
Both feast days were also ‘days of hope’, he is reported as saying. The virtue of ‘hope is like a bit like a bit of leaven that enlarges your soul. There are difficult moments in life, but with hope you go forward and keep your eyes on what awaits us. Today is a day of hope; our brothers and sisters are in the presence of God, and we, too, will be there in the Lord’s arms if we follow the path of Jesus’.
Hope and faith in God as we continue to negotiate a worldwide pandemic is something we have been praying for.
Saying goodbye to loved ones has been particularly difficult this year. There have been limits on how many people can attend funerals. We’ve become adept at using online streaming platforms to ‘attend’ funerals, but they are no substitute for being there. But even if we’ve been able to attend there have been restrictions on physical contact. It’s almost painful to meet with long-absent friends and family and not hug them.
The importance of touch is often under-rated. It’s no wonder pets have become so important in this pandemic era. It’s not only the excuse for the walk outside, it’s the fact that they are living beings who appreciate being petted as much as we enjoy having something to cuddle.
However, as we celebrate these two important feast days, let us take Pope Francis’ words to heart and consider them days of hope, and let that hope guide and comfort us as we move through the rest of the year.
As we commemorate these two important feast days, we pray our prayers of petition.
All Saints Day
Let us pray in communion with all the saints and martyrs. We bring before you all our needs, trusting that you will hear them, as we pray. Lord hear us
God of Saints, make your church a holy church, a praying church, a giving church, a serving church. Lord hear us
God of Peace, we pray that those in authority may follow the example of the saints who worked for peace and love. Lord hear us
God of Compassion, bring healing and hope to those who grieve, suffer pain or have been affected in any way by COVID-19. Lord hear us
God of Justice, let us not be impatient under our own burdens and unconcerned about the burdens of others. Lord hear us
All Souls Day
For all those who are sick or suffering, and especially those who are near death, we pray their death be free of pain and loneliness. Lord hear us
For all the faithful departed in Christ, that perpetual light would shine upon them. Lord hear us
Lord of all, in your mercy may all who have died in your friendship know your lasting peace. We pray for [name/s] and those whom are saddened by his/her/their death. Lord hear us
In thanksgiving for all of our departed friends, family, and community members, and the many ways in which they touched the lives of everyone around them; may their memory always live on. Lord hear us
In thanksgiving for the new life which we all have in Jesus Christ, as we joyfully await the heavenly hope he has promised for us, we pray to the Lord. Lord hear us