Candy, costumes, and the dead. As you have surely noticed, we’ve been in the midst of “Halloween season” with a blur of spooky lawn decorations, trick-or-treating, and parties. As Catholics, we must look at all of these events and traditions in light of what really matters, eternal life with Jesus Christ. Halloween is, of course, derived from “All Hallow’s Eve,” or the vigil of All Saints Day. The Church puts special emphasis on the Solemnity of All Saints, with it being a holy day of obligation. We have to ask ourselves – why does the Church continue to emphasize this day? What is so important about it?

Recognizing the Unsung Heroes

To begin to understand why this feast is important, we must recognize that while the Church formally canonizes many saints, there are undoubtedly many others who are in Heaven without canonization. We can still celebrate canonized saints on All Saints Day, but this holiday is a great opportunity to focus on these non-canonized men and women. It is a perfect occasion to ask for them to pray for us and our needs on Earth, so that we might join them someday. Furthermore, perhaps you have a relative or friend that you believe may be in Heaven. As we hope and pray that they are, we further understand that if they are, we can still have a relationship with them through our union with Jesus Christ here on Earth.

A Reminder of our Purpose: Eternal Union with God

All Saints Day is a powerful reminder that each and every one of us is called to be a saint. This is indeed a high calling but one that is attainable through a life of faith and Christ-centered action. By becoming saints, we find our purpose and meaning, and the joy we all seek. Like the saints we celebrate on this day, we too can live an ordinary life of holiness and sanctity. We should let this day act as a reminder of what our true goal should be.

A Celebration of Christ Manifested Through Earthen Vessels

While we indeed should celebrate the saints, let us never forget the true reason why we do so. We are celebrating the glory of God manifested in them and God’s desire for total union with each of us. The saints stand as witnesses of the great things God can do in our lives, and we need to discern and contemplate how we can let Christ live through us.

Dispute of the Eucharist with saints in heaven
Raphael, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

This All Saints Day, we are all called to celebrate these holy men and women at Mass.  When we attend Mass, we participate in an eternal communion with all the saints in Heaven, known and unknown. The Eucharist itself is truly a glimpse of Heaven on Earth and a way to connect with Our Lord and these saints. So in celebration of them, the perfect thing to do is attend this holy feast, contemplating the powerful relationships that the Saints have with us on Earth. Let us praise God for His glory manifested in them!