Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and a witch walking down the aisle with the processional cross. In tow, our kids from the parish dressed as pirates, princess, skeleton and lady liberty. Pumpkins in the sanctuary and lots of smiles introduced Holy Family’s celebration of All Saints Day.
Beyond dressing up and gorging on candy, there’s a deeper spiritual meaning that underlies this holyday. As the witch with her wonderful black brim hat stepped up to the lectern she invited the children to pray: “God wants everyone to be a saint.”
She told stories about St Paul, St Peter, and Saint Mother Teresa and the children in chorus shouted: God wants us to be a saint.”
On a side table, our liturgy artists designed a table with pumpkins and leaves and invited our parishioners to bring photos of their loved ones to remember and pray in gratitude for their lives.
Our little witch proclaimed: “These people on our Remembrance Table are fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers, brothers and sisters who prayed and worked and served Jesus in our homes. We miss them all very much. They were special people who taught us how to love Jesus. Bless them with happiness in heaven and may we always be grateful for their love and kindness to each of us. And the children shouted: “God wants us to be saints.”
Finally, she read, “My name is Maddie. I probably won‘t ever walk on water or get captured by pirates while preaching. But God is helping me be a saint too. I am just an ordinary person doing ordinary things. I wake up every morning and pray to do my best for God. I like to laugh and sing and work. Sometimes I get mad and sometimes I cry but God loves me anyway and wants me to be a saint too.
During the Kiss of Peace, our little saints were invited to walk around the church and share the love of Jesus with hugs and high fives. But most profound was at the end of our celebration, we asked all our grownups to kneel and instructed our children to place their hands over the heads of their parents and neighbors as a blessing and we prayed: “The saints were people like us, weak, with faults like the ones we have; only, they did not take these failings for granted. They led the same lives as we do, only in a more courageous way. We are called to the same holiness to which God called them. May you respond to God’s call with the strength and blessing of the almighty and loving God: the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
Lord, I pray for all my Sonshine Friends whose baskets are ready to treat those who come knocking at their door. May your hearts always be filled with treats and gratitude for the kindness and mercy we have received from the saints we have met on our journey of faith.