All Saints 2012

Last year, in my post for this feast, I tried to express the connection between All Saints and All Souls:

The thought that you and I are saints by virtue of our membership of the Church is always uplifting. Weak, fallible, crotchety creatures that we are, there is something about us that is infinitely more important than the sum of our failures. Add to that our fellowship with the saints in heaven, and you can see why the Church regards the Solemnity of All Saints as one of the most important feasts of the year. With the celebration of All Souls tomorrow, this great feast of the Church will be complete: the Church in heaven, the Church on earth and the Church in purgatory, awaiting the resurrection.

I realise, however, that for many people both feasts are problematic. As always, I suggest reading through the preface of the Mass in order to gain insight into the theology of the feast in question. Today’s is rich in scriptural allusion, but I’d like to single out one aspect that doesn’t depend on knowledge of scripture so much as a modicum of imagination. The preface ends with the words

And so, we glorify you with the multitude of Saints and Angels, as with one voice of praise we acclaim . . .

They are a reminder that the Saints now enjoying the bliss of heaven are one with the saints (= Church members) on earth and TOGETHER we glorify God. Neither is complete without the other. We can go further and say that we are the connection between All Saints and All Souls, for it is our privilege, as it is our duty, to be the bond of prayer between the two. In short, today invites us to reflect on the meaning of the communion of saints, a phrase we repeat often enough in the Creed without necessarily seeing how it reaches into own ordinary, humdrum lives. If we could but see the glory that surrounds us, how changed our lives would be! We are, so to say, the theology of today’s feast enfleshed. Or at least, we ought to be.