Spiritual bonds unite for today’s All Saints’

Published 6:00 am Sunday, November 1, 2015

Today is remembered in many countries as All Saints’ Day. The origin of this holiday dates back to the fourth century when the Greek Christians held a festival on the first Sunday after Pentecost to honor saints, martyrs and the deceased.

Some Christians who celebrate All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day celebrate with the belief that there is a spiritual bond with those in purgatory (the ‘Church Suffering’) those in heaven (the ‘Church triumphant’) and the living (the ‘Church militant’).

All Saints’ Day is celebrated in many different forms throughout the United States by different denominations. In New Orleans, where there is a large Roman Catholic population, people decorate graves in local cemeteries with candles and flowers.

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In the United Methodist Church, many congregations observe All Saints’ Day on the first Sunday in November to remember deceased members of their church. Candles are lit as the names of the deceased are read, followed by a prayer offered for each soul.

Many Latin American countries hold celebrations Nov. 1 or 2 as part of the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos). Many countries celebrate this as part of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.

In Mexico, All Saints’ Day is in conjunction with the celebration of “Dide los Inocentes” (Day of the Innocents), the first day of the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) celebration, which honors deceased children and infants.

Portuguese children celebrate the Pao-por-Deus tradition where they go door-to-door, receiving sweets, candies, cakes, nuts and pomegranates.

First Presbyterian Church of Oxford will be hosting the Laudis Domini Singers from Memphis presenting Faure’s Requiem today at 4 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public and a nursery will be provided.

According to Father Joe Torres, pastor of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Oxford, St. John’s celebrated an All Saints’ Mass. On Friday the church celebrated a Red Mass that was presided over by Bishop Joseph Kopacz.

The Red Mass was celebrated to place God’s blessing on members of the bench, Bar, Legislature, law enforcement and governmental agencies. The keynote speaker for St. John’s Red Mass was Andre DeGruy, state capital defense attorney.

Whatever your denomination, take this opportunity to reflect on loved ones that have passed in your family and remember them in your thoughts and prayers.