All Saints and All Souls

All Saints and All Souls

Doing a recap of yesterday along with a post for today.

Yesterday I took the kids to Mass, even though it technically wasn’t a holy day of obligation here. It was the Mass for the parish school and a bunch of the kids dressed up in costume—a new tradition here evidently that our new pastor and the new principal of the school are trying to begin. The girls loved looking at the costumes. Next year, I’ll try to get costumes for the girls so they can dress up for Mass too. How fun will that be! The children all behaved beautifully and after Mass we went and bought a little cake since poor Dom’s birthday celebration got shunted from Sunday to yesterday because of all the Halloween craziness.

Last nigh we went out to dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant. Not very successfully all the kids were cranky and I had an asthma attack and no inhaler. Fortunately, the restaurant is very kid friendly and the staff really don’t seem to mind a bit of craziness. Then we had cake and candles and presents. Yes, even though they had bunches of candy it stil didn’t feel right not to have at least a little cake. Rituals are very important, you know.

Today began with hustling everyone out so Dom and I could vote. I felt like loser mom with all the kids dressed all raggle-taggle and the girls’ hair uncombed and Ben’s jacket covered with dried yogurt. Bu the ladies at the polls smiled and said how cute they were so maybe only Dom and I noticed.

We had to settle for going for a little stroll in the closest cemetery rather than visiting the grave of a loved one today; but we had a nice little jaunt until the end when suddenly Ben decided he was too cold and too tired and began to scream and screamed all the way back to the car and most of the way home. He cried himself to sleep and so I declared it an early nap sort of day and we went home for lunch.

I know that Dom’s grandparents are all buried somewhere nearby, as within an hour or so driving distance, but I don’t know exactly where and I don’t think he does either. One of these years, though, I’ll do the detective work and then take the kids for a visit. My grandparents are in Illinois and Arizona.

I didn’t remember to bring my camera today, so I’ll repost this slide show I made three years ago in honor of All Souls. It’s made up of photographs taken at St. Mary’s cemetery in Peabody, MA, which was just down the street from our apartment, and at neighboring St Thomas the Apostle church. St Mary’s was the original Catholic cemetery in the area, linked to the first Catholic parish in Massachusetts. Many of the monuments there are much older and there were many more ornate ones than in the more modest cemetery that we visited today, which was also St Mary’s.

I made it a practice whenever I walked there with the girls to pray for all the souls of the Catholics buried there.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them.

The music is a track called “Caoineadh na Mara / Amen” from the album Celtic Requiem by Mary McLaughlin and William Coulter. I love it and it haunts me at this time of year, part of my November soundtrack.

Merciful Father, hear our prayers and console us. As we renew our faith in your Son, whom you raised from the dead, strengthen our hope that all our departed brothers and sisters will share in his resurrection, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Also check out, this beautiful, must-read All Souls post from Charlotte about her search for a long-lost grave.

And I loved this one from Young Mom about discovering new traditions.


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  • I don’t mean to take away from all the kudos to Dom, but I’ll bet it is less patience and more intense focus on the game. I mean, that’s how it is for me grin

  • Kate, I almost never buy new clothes because we get so many hand-me-downs from cousins. But somehow I misplaced all the dresses and so I had to get some more. Bella already had one hand-me-down Lands End dress that she adores and wears all the time. So I went online and found two more floral print dresses, figuring I knew they’d fit well and be comfortable on her. I was right. She loves them.

    He is great. He is often much more tolerant than I am. I can only deal with so much poking and prodding while he’ll sit and endure their attentions for a very long time.