Sing with All the Saints in Glory
This Monday is the Solemnity of All Saints, commonly called All Saints Day. Normally it is a Holy Day of Obligation, but since it falls on a Monday, it isn’t obligatory this year. There will still be two Masses to celebrate this great solemnity. Fr. Jedidiah will celebrate 7:00am Mass at Immaculate Conception and then head out for retreat for almost two weeks. Please pray for him, that he may have a fruitful retreat.
I’ll celebrate Mass at 7:00pm at St. Joseph. During this Year of the Eucharist, we’ve made some liturgical adjustments. For the Solemnity of All Saints, we’ll be pulling out all the stops. We’ll use this Mass to enter as best as possible into the heavenly liturgy. Every Mass is heaven on earth and at times we add greater solemnity to the Mass so that its heavenly nature is revealed in a greater way.
For example, the saints sing for all eternity around the throne of God. Music, especially the music of the human voice, is part of heavenly worship. During Mass, singing the Mass adds greater solemnity and lifts our minds and hearts to heaven. Think of the words that often come before the Holy, Holy, Holy, “We join our voices to the angels and saints, as we acclaim…” Singing isn’t just for those who like it or those with a good voice; it is for every individual to lend their voice to the praise of God.
For this solemn Mass for All Saints Day, we’ll be singing a lot of the Mass and we’ll utilize Mass parts that highlight the human voice. Also we’ll be using some of the settings from our new Ignatius Pew Missal, like the Responsorial Psalm and the Communion Antiphon. You’ll get a sneak peak of what is to come.
Incense is also part of the heavenly liturgy. In the Book of Revelation, the angel stands beside the altar holding a golden censer (8:3). Incense is used at Mass during more solemn occasions. It teaches us about the mystery of God and signifies our prayers rising to heaven. You may have noticed that we are regularly using incense on Sunday Mass at 10:00am at St. Joseph and 10:30am at Immaculate Conception. If we have enough servers who are comfortable with incense, we’ll use it at those Masses. You can rest assured that there will be incense at the All Saints Day Mass this Monday.
All Saints Day isn’t the only exciting Liturgy taking place this week. Tuesday, November 2nd is All Souls Day, the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed. It is a popular day to visit a cemetery and pray for our deceased family and friends. It is also one of two days that every priest in the world is permitted to offer three Masses (the other is Christmas). It is so important to offer Mass for the dead, that the Church gives every priest this permission.
With that in mind, there will be three Masses on All Souls Day. We’ll have the regularly scheduled 8:00am Mass at St. Joseph and add a 10:00am Mass at Immaculate Conception and noon at St. Lawrence. I realize that these aren’t the most ideal times. Tuesday is my normal day off and with Fr. Jedidiah being away, I’d like to take the afternoon and evening off. It could be a crazy two weeks. Also St. John parishioners may be feeling left out: I thought that since the Saturday morning Mass is always at St. John, it would be prudent to divide the Masses this way.
Finally we have one Beacons of Light update. The public comment period ended on October 20th and the Archdiocese received over 7,000 comments ranging from, “keep my priest” to “these parishes would work better together.” This has caused the group to look at some of the families again. This means that the final families of parishes probably won’t be announced until December. It is disappointing that it is being pushed back. Hopefully a couple of extra weeks will ensure that the families are as good as possible.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Sean Wilson