Last week on Monday (November 8) when I entered the church early in the morning to video a prayer service I was met with the candles from our remembrance Sunday celebration. This celebration we do at St Pascal’s every November is a very special time. We have a lit candle for each person that celebrated a funeral or memorial which is raised when that person’s name is called at the beginning of Mass. I find it a very sacred time of entering into the mystery of death and resurrection. A celebration that those who have died are not separated from us but continue to be present to us and light for our lives.
This last remembrance Sunday I felt especially connected to my grandfather on my father’s side, Sam Moore. With my grandfather living in Victoria Canada and us living in Toronto and then San Francisco, we did not get to see him very often. I would venture to guess I only had the opportunity to visit with him less than 20 times over his life. He was a gentle and fun-loving man who loved to be around people and tell stories. His laugh was genuine and contagious. But most of all he was a man who had a faith in God which was in harmony with the way he lived his life. When he did speak of God and faith, it resonated loudly and profoundly as it was rooted in the example of what he said and did. In other words, he walked the talk. Most importantly for me, even though his relationship with God was rooted in the Jehovah’s Witnesses I never felt any pressure from him to be a Jehovah’s Witness. I always felt that he was simply overjoyed to be with his grandchildren and he loved and accepted us as we were.
When we feel close to somebody that has died, it is a wonderful and beautiful reminder of our Catholic concept of the “Communion of Saints”. That those we loved who have died are not simply gone, but we are connected to them in a real and personal way. This makes remembrance a living reality beyond our earthly understanding. I am always aware of the presence of the Communion of Saints as we celebrate Mass. There is such a powerful and mysterious joining of our worship to the prayers and worship of our faithful departed. To have this body of believers worshiping and supporting us in prayer is always a source of comfort and strength to me.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen
Peace, Love, Blessings