>> Friday, October 31, 2008
Today, the world celebrates Halloween. But there is no trick or treating for us this time of the year because the baby is sick. And as Catholics, we celebrate these Holy days on the 1st and 2nd of November, the 1st being All Saints' Day and the 2nd, All Souls' Day.
Back in the Philippines, we hold novenas or nine days of praying for our departed loved ones souls prior to Nov. 2nd. We pray that their souls rest in peace and that they are now in the Glory of the Kingdom of God. Then on Nov. 1st, we pray and pay honor to our saints who have made our world a better place to live in. On Nov. 2nd, we remember our dead and visit their tombs in the cemetery to clean, pray and gather together. Some offer food and drink for the souls since it is believed that on that day, the souls have a feast too. It is also usually a time for family gatherings since it is officially a non-working holiday and many go back to their provinces to pay respect to their dead.
And since we are here in Japan, we will only light up candles at home for the souls of our dear departed and give a mass for their souls on Sunday, November 2nd. The good thing is that there are churches here that hold Sunday masses in English and just like in any Catholic church anywhere, a special mass for the souls will be celebrated.
Here is hoping that everyone has a safe and happy halloween. Take care everyone and God bless!