During the month of November we remember those who have died. In the parish where I live we as a community celebrate a Mass for the bereaved remembering all those who have died during the year and their families are invited to attend. During the Mass the names of those who have passed on will be read out and a family member will come forward to light a candle in their memory. Also for the whole month of November the remembrance book in which the names of those who have died over the past year will be inscribed will be on a table in the Church and the candle will be lit near this book during every Mass. We also keep up the venerable tradition of the November Dead List in which we list the names of our dead friends and relations and the lists are placed in the church for the month of November and we remember all those people as well. Goodness is not limited to any age of history: neither the past nor the present has a monopoly on saints because all of us are called to be saints and we find that most if not all the saints were also sinners!!
We are related to those who went before us, those who linked their belief to those who went before them. We are part of that chain of holiness we are a small part of the marvellous company of heaven that is the believers who have gone before us. We are not abandoned to our own devices; we have our ancestors in faith the saints who are blessed in heaven. In John’s vision he sees “a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language”. Among them are counted people who know us and love us Who we are is what we have been given. Our faith also educates the hope we share that we will return to the source of life, the God of all beginnings. Death is not a door into the dark, it is a dark door which opens into the light. Those we have loved and all the faithful departed have passed through that door, and during the month of November we pray for their eternal peace and joy. During November we hold holy the memory of all the faithful who have been called to return to God. We bless God for the many ways they have enriched our families, our communities, our life of faith. We pray that as we remember their names before God, they will remember us. The faith and love that bound us together with them in life still binds us in their new life. We pray that their prayers will support our own hope as we continue our journey in faith. Our journey is the road that will take us to eternal joy of the heavenly kingdom.