8 November, 2019 - All Saints, All Souls: Praying with, for those who have gone before us


  2019 11 08 allsouls med 

The community processes through the cemetery for the All Souls Blessing of the Graves.

Click to enlarge.




November is a special time at the monastery. With the Church, the monks celebrate the solemnity of All Saints on Nov. 1 and then All Souls Day on Nov. 2. The community also offers three additional Masses for the Dead in November, over and above the monthly Office and Mass for the Dead.

Per tradition, the monks and guests at the monastery processed through the abbey cemetery on All Souls Day. Chanting together, they followed the Paschal candle in a cloud of incense as the abbot blessed the monks' graves.

The firs solemnity since the Feast of St. Bernard on Aug. 20, All Saints (and the commemoration of All Souls the next day) is a turning point in Gethsemani's year. The weather turns cooler and the monks get busier as they prepare for Gethsemani Farms' holiday rush leading up to Christmas.

Perhaps it is fitting that, as the monks engage in more communal work for the "Pre-pack/Shipping" season, they take extra time to remember the extended community they can't see - the saints in Heaven, and those still in a state of hopeful purification.

Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in pace. Amen.