At the beginning of next month the Church celebrates two important feasts: All Saints on November 1, followed by All Souls on November 2. While in the minds of many Catholics these two feasts are inextricably linked, they originated at different times and have different emphases.
The Christian journey begins with baptism and comes to its earthly conclusion with the Funeral Mass and subsequent burial or cremation. From that moment on we enter the realm of eternal life with God.
Did you know that the first official Roman ritual for Christian marriage only appeared in 1614 and was only officially recognised as one of the seven sacraments in the Middle Ages?
Early in June we celebrated the feast of Pentecost, often referred to as the ‘birthday of the Church’, when Peter and the other apostles presented the Good News of Christ to the Jerusalem crowds who heard them speaking in their own language. So we could say that, right from the beginning, the character of the Church has been multicultural!
Every year on Good Friday large numbers of Catholics gather in groups to remember the Passion of Christ by praying the Stations of the Cross.
The purpose of any calendar is to help people within a given society to order their lives. Most modern countries use the Gregorian calendar, but in actual fact there are about 40 different calendars in use around the world today, particularly for determining religious dates. The Church’s Liturgical Calendar is one of these and is not so much concerned with ‘counting days’ but in setting out guidelines for the celebration of the mystery of Christ over the period of a year.