One of my first memories of going to Catholic liturgy is attending the Vigil for All Saints at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. What stands out so vividly is the procession they made while chanting the Litany of Saints. It was so clear that these were not prayers to distant people, somewhere far off who might intercede for us, if it pleased them. No, these were prayers of people who really knew that the Saints are in heaven interceding for us.
"Almighty ever-living God, by whose gift we venerate in one celebration the merits of all the Saints, bestow on us, we pray, through the prayers of so many intercessors, an abundance of the reconciliation with you for which we earnestly long." The Collect for the Solemnity of All Saints is a wonderful reminder that we are not on this journey of life alone, we have friends in heaven to help us.
Today is a chance to remember those in heaven who may not have a day dedicated to them on our liturgical calendar. It is a chance to remember that heaven isn't just the place for the "important" people, but that we are all called to be in heaven with God.
Today is a chance to remember that the Saints in heaven want us to join their company, they want us to spend our eternity with God. Today is a day to remember all our heavenly intercessors, known and unknown because we are a people who know that the Saints are in heaven interceding for us.
All you Saints of God, pray for us!
Rebecca Spellacy is the Associate Director of Liturgy for the Office of Formation for Discipleship in the Archdiocese of Toronto.