2017-10_LT-AllSouls

Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory/My Faith/Theology/Why Do Catholics

Evil, Death, and Christ’s Victory: an All Souls’ Day Challenge

Have you seen Life Teen’s “Real Talk” video “Happy Death Day isn’t (actually) Scary?” If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out here.

In the video, Leah talks about the new movie, “Happy Death Day,” and how we, as Christians, can absolutely celebrate Halloween. She also mentions three important things we recognize during this time of year:

Evil exists.
Death is coming.
Christ has conquered both of those things on the cross!

Christ conquered death and evil — that is pretty amazing and worth celebrating!

But what happens after Halloween is pretty awesome too — on November 1st we celebrate All Saints Day and on November 2nd we celebrate All Souls’ Day.

On All Saints Day, we celebrate the saints who lived their lives aware of Christ’s victory over sin and death, and are totally partying it up in heaven with Jesus. The meaning behind the celebration of All Souls’ Day, on the other hand, is a bit more confusing and difficult to understand.

All Souls’ Day Explained

We, as Christians, are called and reminded on All Souls’ Day to celebrate and pray for all the souls in the world.

According to Catholic belief, the soul of a person who dies goes to one of three places:

  1. Heaven, where a person who dies in a state of perfect grace and communion with God goes (commence the party with Jesus!).
  2. Hell, where those who die in a state of mortal sin are naturally condemned by their own choice.
  3. Purgatory, which is thought to be where most people who are free of mortal sin, but still in a state of venial sin must go before they can enter heaven. Purgatory is where souls are cleansed and perfected before they enter heaven.

So, on All Souls’ Day, we celebrate and pray for all souls in the world, but especially those who have died. This year, as we celebrate, I encourage you to enter into the tradition of the Church by doing the following on this day.

4 Things you Should do on All Souls Day

  1. Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. For more information on that prayer, check out “Calling on Mercy
    and for further reflections on the Chaplet, check out “Living Mercy.”
  2. Go to Mass and offer it up for all the faithful departed.
  3. Go to Adoration and pray for all those who have passed away.
  4. Go to a cemetery to pray for the souls that have been buried there and remember your own mortality.

Halloween might be a spooky time of year for most, but for Christians it is a time of great joy and rejoicing! During this season, we are called to remember all souls that Christ gives life to and celebrate the saints in heaven who are partying with Jesus. Moreover, we are reminded to grow in holiness and proclaim Christ’s victory over death and evil by the cross. This is a powerful time but, contrary to popular belief, we have nothing to fear, because Christ defeated anything we would ever need to be afraid of on the cross!

About the Author

Nick Longo

Nick Longo is a youth minister and recent transplant to the Pacific Northwest from Syracuse, New York (go Orange!). On those rare occasions when he's not hanging out with his wife, Christina, or trading his Vineyard Vines for vintage flannel, Nick is running This Catholic Life, a ministry on a mission to evangelize the world through the power of social media. Connect with Nick on Twitter and Instagram @nick_j_longo.