Hallow MassThe Feast of All Saints (Hallow Mass) is normally a Day of Precept and a Holy Day of Obligation throughout the Catholic world. However, some time ago many American bishops decided to cave in to the unfortunate reality that many American Catholics have become entirely too lazy and irreligious for our own collective good. Rather than prod us about how we ought to be more concerned about the things of God than about our own selfish pursuits, it has been determined that when All Saints (or most other Holy Days of Obligation except Christmas) fall on a Monday, the obligation in abrogated, since we were all in church yesterday.
Count me among the Catholics who think that this is horrible.
Next year, All Saints will be obligatory just as it normally is and should be. Yet this year it is not a Day of Precept in the United States of America because it falls on a Monday? Are the Saints more important when their collective feast falls Tuesday through Friday?
God help our spiritually lazy, secularized, stiff-necked people. Lest the reader think I am being self-righteous, I must, similar to St. Paul, confess that there are times when I have been chief among the spiritually stiff. We all need to pray for our own hearts to undergo a much deeper sense of conversion, and for a day when people do not think Holy Days should be skipped because we just went to Mass yesterday.
Shame on us.
As a tribute to the Feast of All Saints, here is the congregation at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Columbia, South Carolina singing one of my favorite hymns-For All the Saints.
1) For all the saints who from their labors rest,
All who by faith before the world confessed,
Your name, O Jesus, be for ever blest.
2) You were their rock, their fortress and their might;
You, Lord, their Captain in the well-fought fight;
You in the darkness drear, their one true light.
3) O may your soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
And win with them, the victor?s crown of gold.
4) O blest communion, family divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
Yet all are one within your great design.
5) And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
6) The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
Sweet is the calm of paradise the blest.
7) But then there breaks a yet more glorious day:
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of glory passes on his way.
8) From earths wide bounds, from oceans farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost: