What exactly are we celebrating on All Saints Day?
All Saints Day:
It is instituted to honor all the saints, known and unknown, and, according to Urban IV, to supply any deficiencies int he faithful's celebration of saints' feasts during the year. (source)I like the "... saints, known and unknown..." part. :-)
I don't know if there is another feast for this, but I'm also remembering and affirming that part of the creed when we say "I believe in the communion of saints." I find it very easy to believe in the communion of saints, the union of the faithful on earth, the blessed in heaven and those in purgatory. I think it is a wonderful, glorious thing to share and be part of. :-) We are one with Christ as our Head.
How can we have a more meaningful celebration?
1. Attend mass- It is, after all, a holy day of obligation.
2. Remember and ask our saints to intercede for us- I entrust specific intentions (like work, health, country) and people (husband, daughter, son, etc.) to a specific saint. For example, St. Lorenzo Ruiz is for the Philippines (because he's our first saint), St. Joseph is for my husband and Saints Clare and Roque for my children because of their names. This is also my tattered prayer book with various novenas and prayers.
3. Learn more about our saints- We had these books when I was growing up and it introduced me to many saints. I don't have a complete set but I got these from the St. Paul's Bookstore in San Antonio Village.
With toddlers (like Marion), I think these pictures of saints, with quotes and short prayers from Happy Saints are great.
4. Be like the saints!- They could serve as great role models and maybe... dress up as saints!!! For saint costume ideas for girls, click here. And for boys, click here. The same blog has ideas for group/siblings/pair costumes also (click here). I'm already imaging the kids in saints costumes. St. Clare with a brown habit & monstrance and St. Roque with brown pilgrim clothes with a staff & dog shouldn't be too complicated? Or what about both in armor and so St. Joan of Arc & (not really a saint) Archangel Michael? What I'd really want is for them to be Diego & Lady of Guadalupe. :-)
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I tried telling Marion about the story of St. Juan Diego & the Lady of Guadalupe. She half-listened then said, "Mom, can you tell me the story of Diego the animal rescuer?" I'll try again another time. She's still more impressed with Diego saving Sammy the Sloth than St. Juan Diego finding roses growing in the snow. ;-p