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Monday, 3 November 2014

All Souls Day Retrospective and Round-up

The service at which I was to read on Saturday turned out to be using the All Souls lectionary readings rather than All Saints.
We use the next day's Sunday's readings as a rule, but I thought Saturday being a Solemnity, no matter how the fact is not honored in this country, we'd use them.

I wasn't really prepared, I don't mean from a reading and sense lines and pronunciation standpoint - but emotionally.
The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed is never again going to be a holy day on which I want to stand up in front of people and proclaim scripture.

And since this year was the wonderful calendrical occurrence when in the EF All Souls gets bumped to Monday, (right? that's how I remember it from a few years back, at St John Cantius in Chicago,) I should have been able to take care of my obligations on the weekend and still be able to hear a lovely Mass for the Poor Souls... if only there were any place within reasonable driving distance that offered such a thing.

Pretty good homily, lovely older priest I think of as on the progressive side of center wore white, but preached on Purgatory and gradations of sin and confession.
So there.

Wasn't that kind of joyous news (I read it in the NYTimes, but can't seem to link to their pages whilst on this computer,)  over the weekend, (surely there were Saints, and the.. residents of? experiencers of? Purgatory who I think one can call Half-saints, or Near-Saints lending their prayers to this cause,) the Holy Innocents in NYC is to remain open and worshiping? (Please, Cdl Dolan, don't send any more EF priests packing.)
Actually, Himself was reading it to me while I scrambled to get my CCD pages and crafts and snacks organized, and I asked him to do a quick page search for the word "innocent," since none of the other parishes whihc I either know about or of which I have fond memories from school days were on the chopping block.

Magnficat's readings and reflections for the weekend were particularly lovely -- the excerpt from Turgenev,where Bazroff's parents visit his grave, heart-breaking---
Often from the little village not far off, two quite feeble old people come to visit [a grave] —a husband and wife. Supporting one another, they move to it with heavy steps; they go up to the railing, fall down, and remain on their knees, and long and bitterly they weep, and yearn and intently gaze at the dumb stone, under which their son is lying; they exchange some brief word, wipe away the dust from the stone, set straight a branch of a fir-tree, and pray again, and cannot tear themselves from this place, where they seem to be nearer to their son, to their memories of him.... Can it be that their prayers, their tears are fruitless? Can it be that love, sacred, devoted love, is not all-powerful? Oh, no! However passionate, sinning, and rebellious the heart hidden in the tomb, the flowers growing over it peep serenely at us with their innocent eyes; they tell us not of eternal peace alone, of that great peace of 'indifferent' nature; tell us too of eternal reconciliation and of life without end.
I have all kinds of reasons why I wouldn't be celebrating Thanksgiving with this, that or the other,  and may have bullied cajoled a less-than-willing hostess into taking in 2 poor nomads -- but until this moment, I hadn't thought, perhaps it was all so that I could visit certain cemeteries in that part of the country, while it was still November.

In CCD, it was already part of my plan to make "candles" with the names of departed loved ones, take a small amount of the hour to talk a bit about purgatory, and the Four Last Things, without getting too morbid or deep for the kids -- well, as usual, nothing is simple, nothing is short, nothing takes  'a bit" of time.
There was, also in Magnificat, some words from Pope Benedict, basically about how relieved we should all be that Purgatory is a chance for the Master Potter to mend us broken vessels, good metaphor for that age.

Unfortunately, and I had forgotten this, their reference for the word and its root meaning are pretty much  those horror, thriller dystopian movies.


Once that was dealt with... well, one of the dearest, brightest, (but cannot shut his mouth for 10 seconds at a time,) students attends an Evangelical protestant school, and comes in with different notions of which he has to be disabused just about every weekend.
I was prepared with scripture and allegories and just the common sense of the doctrine of Purgatory..
(If only I had also been prepared with better snacks - gummi skeletons were a hit, the hard candies not so much....)
Anyway, we didn't get as much done as I would have liked, but you can't have everything, and if you did, where would you put it?

I will be glad when the election is over.
A local candidate shares the name of the person thoughts of whom are most with me at this time of year.
So, already ambushed by readings and Turgenev and candles and my own thoughts -- the name, the name everywhere.
Requiem aeternam dona ei , Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei.

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