On All Saints Day we celebrate the lives of the people whom we believe entered Heaven upon their physical deaths. On All Souls Day, we extend our prayers to all Christians who have passed from this life. In both cases we celebrate our belief that all who die in Christ will rise in Christ.

While we no longer see the physical bodies of those who have passed away, we are still united with them as part of the mystical body of Christ. Today, as we celebrate Christ’s triumph over death during the Eucharist, we also celebrate the mystical union we share both with Christ and with all of those who have gone before us.

As we celebrate the Eucharist today, let us sing and pray along with the souls of our dearly departed. Which person would you most like to be praying with this day?

—Fr. Paul Lickteig, S.J. serves as parochial vicar at St. Xavier Church, Cincinnati OH.