We come in November to the winding down of the Christian year, but before we get there we have two great observances. Unfortunately, there are some Christians who get them confused, so let’s look briefly at the first two days of November.
November first is the feast of All Saints’, the day when we remember all those saints both known and unknown throughout the centuries. On All Saints’ day we commemorate them, the Church Triumphant, and ask for their prayers and for the grace to follow their examples.
The collect for All Saints’, from the Anglican Missal, is this:
Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God: that we may in all things be comforted by the intercession of holy Mary, Mother of God, of all thy Holy Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors and Virgins, and of all thine elect: and that like as we do call to mind their godliness of life; so we may be effectually defended by their help. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
November second, however, is the feast of All Souls’, the day when we remember all the faithful departed. On All Souls’ day we remember them, the Church Expectant, and we pray for all the holy souls in Purgatory. It is on this day we remember all our relatives and friends and loved ones who have died and in the intermediate state await their final reward.
The collect for All Souls’, from the Anglican Missal, is this:
O the Creator and Redeemer of all them that believe: grant unto the souls of thy servants and handmaidens the remission of all their sins; and as they have ever desired thy merciful pardon, so by the supplications of their brethren they may receive the same. Who livest and reignest with the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost ever one God, world without end. Amen.
We rejoice that we are made part of such a great Communion of Saints in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Amen!