"As Catholics, we say we celebrate All Souls Day on 2 November. How can we celebrate in commemoration of death, that gloomy and sorrowful grim reaper? How can we be joyful when in our mourning we miss the daily presence of our loved ones who have gone before us?
We celebrate because, as Christians, we are an Easter people! With Job, we say: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and because He lives, I too shall live.” [Job 19:25-26] And with John, the Beloved Disciple, we remember that “You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.” [John 16:20]
First and foremost, we celebrate this day through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. All Souls Day reminds us of our journey into heaven and that the sacrifice on the Altar is the sacrifice of Calvary which opened the gates of Heaven for us. How can we fail to be joyful at the thought of living eternally in the presence of God?
Moreover, we Catholics believe in a supernatural solidarity with the deceased through the Communion of Saints, and of their need for further purification after death. It is an ancient Catholic custom to pray for and give alms in the name of our beloved dead especially at this time of year."
- text by the Basilian Fathers Missions in Texas.
This photo was taken during a Catholic Requiem Mass celebrated in Dorchester Abbey.