Saints and Souls

10-28-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

People in love feel a natural, devoted obligation to support each other, to be faithful, to just “be there” for each other, and an obligation to celebrate those important moments in life together. This is not a burden for people in love but a joyful obligation. The love we feel for another has its origin in the One who, by His very nature, is love, for “God is love” (see 1 John 4:8, 16). Therefore, just as for a loved one in our lives, we likewise have a loving obligation to actively show our love for God. This is the “obligation” in a Holy Day of Obligation – an act of love towards the One who is love.

This love is also shown by our corporate act of worship – Holy Mass. It’s the worship of Christ’s Body as one – we are not alone. It is also the worship of the Bride of Christ, the Church, as she gathers to “be there” for the One she loves, who gave His life and continues to give His Body and Blood for her/our salvation.

Our next Holy Day of Obligation is this week: November 1 – All Saints Day. Masses are: Vigil, Oct. 31 – 5:30pm (church), and 7:00pm in Spanish (Old St. Mary’s); and Nov. 1 – 7:00am (Old St. Mary’s), 12:00pm & 5:30pm (church). Please note that the school will attend the parish Mass at 12:00 noon, and therefore there will be no Mass at 8:30am that morning. Note also that since we traditionally move the school Mass when there is a Holy Day, there will be no Wednesday morning school Mass at 8:30am.

The next day, November 2, is All Souls Day. While not a day of obligation, it is special to Catholics everywhere as we pray for all our faithful departed souls. We will offer the three traditional Masses for this important day. First, weather permitting, is our annual Mass at 11:00am at our Catholic cemetery, Calvary Cemetery, 1255 University Lane in Aiken. Before Mass you are encouraged to mark the graves of your loved ones with a white flag, which we will provide. After Mass, we will go to each grave in a little procession to pray for your loved ones. (In case of inclement weather, Mass will be at Old St. Mary’s.)

The second Mass for All Souls Day will be a sung Latin Mass (Missa Cantata) at 2:00pm in Old St. Mary’s. Finally, we will have our normal 5:30pm Mass in Old St. Mary’s.

We continue to pray for all the souls of the faithful departed throughout the month of November. You likely received an envelope on which you can write the names of deceased loved ones you would like to pray for. These envelopes are collected and placed on the altar, and our priests remember them in a special way at every Mass. Also, you may record the names of departed loved ones in the Book of the Faithful Departed in the back of the church.

And let us always pray: Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them.

Father Wilson