Guys, I’m not great at Liturgical Living.
I don’t always move my family through feast days like I should. I don’t always remember to take the beauty our faith holds within it, and transmit it in a developmentally appropriate way.
But lemme tell you, yesterday, on all Saints Day… I ROCKED it out.
After we went trick-or-treating, the kids and I sat in bed. We talked about how much fun we had, but then I talked to them about ‘Halloween’ and what it means. The night before the ‘Holy Day’. The ‘Holy Day’ in which we celebrate saints, and as a friend pointed out, saints who do not necessarily have a feast day.
I told the boys we would celebrate Uncle Paul on All Saints Day, because I firmly believe he is a saint in Heaven. I asked them how we could celebrate…what we could do. They know a lot about Uncle Paul, about his adventures, about how he loved Jesus… and how he loved candy. Candy of all kinds. I don’t think I ever stopped at a gas station with my dear friend without buying at least a couple bags of cheap candy. So, to prepare them for this great feast day, I set up our dining room table with a blessed candle, our cross, Joseph and Mary, a picture of Paul, and skittles for them to eat in the morning. I didn’t tell them I was doing it and when they woke up…
...they were SO excited!
“IT’S A FEAST DAY!!!” – They said.
And they knew this day was different. It’s so very important they know this. And I feel so blessed that our faith proclaims that the Kingdom of God is composed of the Living and the Dead.
Gosh. I love being Catholic. I really do.
If you aren’t Catholic, you might not know the Church has readings that are to be proclaimed on any given day. These universal readings help move our Church through the ‘Liturgical Year’. We also have feast days and an entire Church calendar to move us through seasons.
Today’s feast day is the Feast of All Souls, also known as the ‘Day of the Dead’ or the Dia de Muertos. A day when we remember those souls who are waiting to enter heaven. A day when we remember that death is not the end. A day when we remember that Christ defeated death, which is a message that gives us freedom, even in situations where there could be despair.
Today’s first reading is from Wisdom, and as I read it via ‘the email’ from ‘Blessed is She’, it stunned me in it’s beauty.
"The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself."
If you’re like me you might have just skimmed the reading, go back and read it again.
No, seriously, I’ll wait.
“The souls are in the hand of God”
Our faith reminds us, those who have gone before us are at peace, that our God, in His infinite Mercy desires to be with each one of us for eternity.
Yesterday, I got a message from my friend Jenna. Many of you know her, she blogs at ‘Call HerHappy’ and is an insanely talented artist. She really understands blending art and ministry. She messaged me and asked if she could make me a Dia de los Muertos frame for Paul. A frame we could have on display, through this month of November (the month in the Church where we remember the dead).
This frame, with a hand stamped sugar skull in black ink and a customized hand-lettered and embroidered first name, will join the rest of the display I will have through the month of November, to remember those who have gone before us, and in a particular way our ‘Uncle Paul’… who taught us what it really practically means to be a saint.
Jenna has made it a mission of sorts, to have these frames be affordable, so many of us can display them in our homes on All Soul’s Day, throughout the month of November, and even throughout the year. I want to share with you, some things about them, and highly encourage you to click THIS LINK, to get to her Etsy shop and order one for yourself, for a family member or friend who has experienced a loss for us, but a gain for Heaven.
These custom embroidered Dia de los Muertos frames are a perfect memento to gift to someone who has recently experienced a loss or for anyone who would like to remember a friend or family member in Heaven. They pair well with flowers or a heartfelt card.
These frames are designed to be a simple way to keep the names of those who have passed away in a place of honor. Their purpose is to keep the beloved deceaseds' names on display so you remember to pray for them while they are in Purgatory. November is the month dedicated to the Holy Souls, but you can keep this artwork up year round too.
Because this design is intended to be an affordable way to remember loved ones, I have created a simple design that keeps the focus on the name. If you would like something extra, charges will apply.
black plastic frame with clear plastic protector
hand-stamped sugar skull in black ink
customized hand-lettered and embroidered first name
Each piece is handmade, so there may be small variations in the actual design.
COST: $5 + shipping
GO TO HER SHOP, RIGHT NOW, and get you one for yourself, or one for a friend/family member who has experienced a loss in recent years. We remember our dead, we cherish our dead and we pray for our dead as they pray for us.
Our faith is so awesome because it teaches there is a strong link between the living and the dead. Our faith reminds me that death DOES.NOT.WIN. Our faith can make a skull a symbol of beauty because it reminds us of what Christ has conquered. I hate so much that I won’t see Paul here on earth again. So much. But I am so thankful to know he is interceding for so many of us up in heaven. I joke when I give presentations, that not many people can be pretty confident their best friend is chilling with Jesus and asking for things on their behalf … but I can.
Saint Paul… Pray for us J