Sunday, November 5, 2017

A Saintly Celebration!

I love my family. 

Yes, I love my husband, child, parents and siblings, and my in-laws and other relatives. I love the fellowship, love, and relationships that we share. 

I also love my family in the Communion of Saints. 

The unity and fellowship of the faithful in the Church who are living in dead, praying and interceding for each other continually blows my mind. The Communion of Saints:

"...refers first to the "holy things" (sancta), above all the Eucharist, by which "the unity of believers, who form one body in Christ, is both represented and brought about. The term "communion of saints" refers also to the communion of "holy persons" (sancti) in Christ who "died for all," so that what each one does or suffers in and for Christ bears fruit for all." ~Catechism of the Catholic Church #960-961

There's the Church Triumphant: those in Heaven, praying and rejoicing in the gaze of God. There's the Church Suffering: those in Purgatory, who are being purified so that they may join God and the angels and saints in Heaven. There's the Church Militant: those of us on Earth who are seeking to bring the love of God to all people. 

On November 1, we celebrated All Saints Day. This glorious feast is an amazing day to honor and celebrate those men and women who are intimately united with God in Heaven. These people have lived lives of sanctity, and looking at how they served God in their lives helps us, because we can learn from them and ask them to intercede for us. 
Public domain. 
All Saints Day is a time for parties and fun, and this year, I decided that we needed to host a gathering. Throughout my childhood, I went to many All Saints Day parties. Some were small, and some were large. Some were extremely elaborate, involving a carnival in a church hall with several religious-themed games. Some were quite simple, consisting of "soul cakes" and bobbing for apples and a saint story. As much as I love the idea of elaborate All Saints Day parties, I decided that I couldn't handle anything too grand this year. So, we stuck with the "super-simple" route. 

I made a few treats that connected to different saints:

Japanese Dangos for St Paul Miki and Companions! Incidentally, one of our friends showed up to the party dressed as one of his "companions," which was pretty neat!

A few kids thought these were sweet (probably assumed the brown globs were chocolate)
and were disappointed to hear that the brown globs are actually a
soy-sauce based mixture. Oh well-at least other people enjoyed them!
Caramel Corn for Our Lady of Mount Carmel! 

We also set up a display of some third-class saint relics (medals and holy cards that have been touched to the bodies of saints) and some saint medals that people could take with them as party favors.

We put out a "St. Therese's Shower of Roses" game, which evolved into my toddler throwing the roses all over the floor and the kids playing with them randomly.

Being a Sunday afternoon, our friends trickled in as they finished their family lunches or prayer times at Mass, some costumed as various saints. While I had aspirations to make cool and/or creative costumes, I decided to dress as Servant of God Empress Zita. She's awesome, and since she lived in the early 20th century, the outfit was really easy to pull together. Thank you, thrift store ;) 

I dressed the toddler in a white undershirt (to look like a robe) so that he could be St. Dominic, and I cut up a black t-shirt to be his cape (because Dominicans look epic with their capes on. See evidence here). Well, he wouldn't wear the cape, and after about 5 minutes, he put his Rosary down. So then he just looked like Princess Leia. 

People made the comment that "he looks like Luke Skywalker!" but really,
I'm getting way more of a Leia vibe. There could be worse things, right? 
Once everyone had gathered in our home, we recited the Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great together. It was revealed to St. Gertrude that each time these words were prayed, a great number of souls would be released from Purgatory. Since we particularly remember the Souls in Purgatory during the month of November, I thought this would be a fitting activity for our party. 

At the conclusion of this prayer, we prayed a litany of saints-each person invoked the intercession of either the saint he or she was dressed as, or (if not wearing a costume) a favorite saint. Then, we spent the duration of the party in good old-fashioned Sunday leisure. The kids either battled each other with sticks outside, played with toy's in the toddler's bedroom, or played board games and the adults (and babies!) ate snacks and chatted inside. It was such a lovely time, and I really enjoyed myself (and think that the others did, too!). I was so happy that about 5-6 other families + kids and a few single friends were all able to come. Since some of us attend different local Catholic churches and don't get together all that often, it was great to relax, catch up, and celebrate the Communion of Saints. 

On a final note, I have to say that Megan Follows has my utmost respect for her performance in Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel, because she frolics around while having amazing hair. I know that she probably had stylists who made sure that she looked amazing, but I'm still impressed with the fact that she could walk across the room without her hairdo collapsing. After watching 3 tutorials and running back to the mirror several times to adjust my hair rolls and add more bobby pins, I had finally decided that I was just going to deal with a less-than-perfect hairdo. And even though I didn't exert myself physically during the party (unless you count eating chips and lemon bars and brownies), my hair definitely did not look as good as Megan Follows'. I will never watch AoGG: The Sequel the same way again. 

 All holy saints of God, pray for us! 


  1. Looks like a fun time was had by all!

  2. This is super fun! Way to go! And your hair is lovely.

    1. Thanks! I actually found a tutorial (conveniently, a few days AFTER the party) which seemed more "Anne Shirley" than "Empress Zita" but was similar, and it was WAY easier, so I might just have to do this more often!

  3. Ooooh, so fun! This sounds like such a thoughtfully put together and refreshing All Saints Day party. I love the idea to say the St. Gertrude prayer. And your costumes totally worked. Hair is so hard to do! So glad it went well.