The communion of Saints

1 November

On the 1st and 2nd November, the Church celebrates our belief in the Communion of Saints.
Communion can have various meanings. In this context, it means a union, a fellowship that leads to sharing and communication.
The 1st of November is All Saints’ Day, dedicated to the saints of the Church, those who the Church declared that are in heaven, because through their intercession, miracles happened: people who were cured from diseases or medical conditions that doctors and medicine could not cure.
The 2nd of November is All Souls’ Day, dedicated to those who have died and are still waiting to enter the Beatific Vision of God.
The Communion of Saints also includes all those who are baptised, that means all of us! While we are still alive we are part of this fellowship, because we are “saints in training,” we are “saints in progress.”

The Communion of Saints comes together in the celebration of the Eucharist.

Pope Francis says that we are called to be saints because everyone is called to holiness.
He says that “a door is opened on the road to sainthood” wherever we may be : at home, on the street, at work, at school, at church.
We can do this by living as Christian witnesses in our daily lives, by “living with love.”

Throughout the month of November, we can bring our children to a better understanding of the concept of the Communion of Saints.

Elicit from the  children’s knowledge of saints
    – a saint or two that  they feel close to
    –  the saint of their namesake
    – a saint they would choose as patron ( like a friend that they would turn to for help or protection)
With them you can research about the life of the saint, while older children can be encouraged to do their own research.
Consider downloading a picture of the saint, encourage them to colour it, make a decorated card with the picture and find a place for it in their room.

On the 2nd of November, during a family prayer time, remember members of the family, friends, acquaintances, who have passed on to Eternal Life.

Point out that they too are members of the Communion of Saints because they are either in heaven with God or waiting to become really ”beautiful” before meeting the Lord.*An adult will verbalise prayers of intercession. eg. Lord, welcome (name) into Your Loving Arms in your Heavenly Home. Children will answer “Lord hear our prayer.”

Start a dialogue with the children with the question:
Do you want to be a saint?
Listen to their opinions, leading them to identify:
– participating in the Eucharist
– showing love to others (how?)
– doing our duties
– asking for forgiveness from Jesus (for older children, through the Sacrament of Reconciliation) and others when we need to be forgiven.

The awareness of the meaning of “Communion of Saints” will eventually lead the children to appreciate the meaning of the Church celebration of Christ the King of this communion.

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Saints of the Church. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the holy life, helping you to connect the saints to daily life in a meaningful way.