Each year on the first two days in November, the Catholic Church pays special tribute to those who have died. The Solemnity of All Saints is celebrated November 1 and the Feast of All Souls the following day. All Saints Day was instituted to honor all saints, known and unknown. On All Souls Day, prayers are said for the departed who have been baptized, but are not yet in full union with God in heaven. All Saints Day honors all saints, those known and unknown. On All Souls Day, the faithful offer prayers for the departed who have been baptized but are not yet in full union with God.
All Saints Day
Most Reverend Michael Burbidge celebrated Mass on the Solemnity of All Saints at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Raleigh. Referring to the Gospel reading, the Bishop noted how the Beatitudes are reflected in the lives of the saints, adding that “none of them were freed from the trials and tribulations of earthly life. Like Jesus,” the Bishop said, “they encountered their share of sacrifice and suffering, the path that led them to the glory of the resurrection and the feast without end.”
Bishop Burbidge said it is those moments of trial and tribulation that “we are given a privileged and special invitation to grow in holiness and to become saintly.”
All Souls Day
Bishop Burbidge celebrated Mass on the Feast of All Souls Day at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Newton Grove. The liturgy was conducted at an altar constructed in 1994 near the burial site of Bishop Vincent S. Waters, third Bishop of Raleigh. Thirteen diocesan priests are also buried in the parish cemetery. The Mass was concelebrated by Bishop Emeritus F. Joseph Gossman and twenty priests serving in the Diocese.
In his homily, the Bishop spoke of the need for each of us to be, “vigilant and prepared, so that when the Lord calls us to Himself, we will join the company of the saints who have gone before us.”
Bishop Burbidge explained we can be prepared for that day if, “We allow Jesus to be for us the Way, the One who shows us the path that leads to genuine peace and authentic joy. We allow Jesus to be for us the Truth, the One who enlightens and guides us in all our decisions and discernments. We allow Jesus to be for us the Life, the One alone who satisfies our spiritual hunger and thirst.”
Following Mass, Bishop Burbidge blessed the gravesites of Bishop Waters, the priests and the approximately 200 lay people buried in the cemetery.