All Saints Day (Nov. 1) and All Souls’ Day (Nov. 2) are celebrated in the Church to help us focus on the Communion of Saints. The Church teaches that every member of the Body of Christ is eternally connected and cannot be separated by time or space, or even death. What a relief! Our belief in the Communion of Saints means that we never have to truly say goodbye to our loved ones who have died, because they are still a part of the Church family. These two days are times of remembrance, celebration and prayer.
All Saints Day honors all of the great saints who have graced the earth — St. Francis to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, and everyone in between. All Souls’ Day is a special day where we celebrate every member of the Communion of Saints, including those who have died.
The Great Cloud of Witnesses
“‘What is the Church if not the assembly of all the saints?’ The communion of saints is the Church.”
~ Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 946
All Saints Day (Nov. 1) is a holy day of obligation and an opportunity to remember all saints and martyrs, known and unknown, throughout Christian history. Remembering and celebrating our saints has been a Christian tradition since the fourth century.
All Souls Day (Nov. 2) commemorates all of the faithful departed — our friends, relatives, parishioners and community members. We remember and pray for the souls of the people in purgatory and also pray that we may one day join Christ and all of the saints in heaven.