October 29, 2023
Dear Parish Family,
It’s hard to believe that November starts this week. We know that November is the month we remember our Faithful Departed in a very special way.
November 1 is All Saints Day. It is a day of great rejoicing in honoring those who have entered heaven – the saints whose names we know and all those in heaven – even our family members and loved ones. The priests will wear white or even gold on this day to show the joy and happiness of heaven. All Saints Day is a Holy Day of Obligation and we are obliged to attend Mass that day. Masses for All Saints Day will be Tuesday, October 31 at 5:30 p.m., and Wednesday, November 1 at 8:30 a.m., 12 Noon, and 7:00 p.m.
November 2 is All Souls Day. We pray in an intense and deliberate way for the souls of those who have died and are in Purgatory awaiting the complete joy of heaven. All Souls Day has a different character to it. It is a day of more subdued or somber prayer for those who have died and are being purified and prepared to enter heaven, being cleansed from any stain of sin so they are completely ready to see God face to face. The priests can wear white, purple, or even black vestments at Mass on this day. It is a revered tradition in the Church to have additional Masses on November 2. In addition to our regular 8:30 a.m. morning Mass, we will also have Mass at 12 Noon, and 7:00 p.m.
Through the rest of November we continue to pray for our deceased. On the altar during November there will be the All Souls Day offerings which contain names of deceased loved ones whom you would like prayed for and remembered during this “Month of the Dead.” These holy souls will be prayed for at every Mass during the month of November. So November is a very special month during which we remember, celebrate, and believe. It’s a chance for us to prayerfully feel that real sense of loss and pain that comes when a loved one dies and to stand together in the great hope in the promise and reality of eternal life.
Everyone is invited to our Vespers for the Faithful Departed on Sunday, November 5, at 4:00 p.m. Candles will be lit in memory of our parishioners who have died this past year. Their names will also be solemnly read. Candles will be available for you to light in memory of your own loved ones who have died this year or before. It’s a beautiful service of hope, healing, and faith. It will move your heart.
Please be sure to visit our Parish Necrology that was installed in what is called the Memorial Corridor. That is the hallway between the Main Church Narthex and the Parish Hall Lobby. The Necrology lists those who have been buried from Good Shepherd since 1951. For the last few years, we have had a temporary display in the church during November (the month of the Holy Souls). This permanent installation will be added to each year. It is our hope that the Memorial Corridor will be a place of remembrance, prayer, and comfort. An updated one will be installed this week. We will bless the Necrology at the end of the Vespers for the Faithful Departed on November 5.
Grace and peace,
Father Neil Sullivan