All Saints day and All Souls day is upon us.
It's the time of our Liturgical year when we remember the entire Communion of Saints!!
But what is the Communion of saints?
What is the difference between All Saints day and All Souls day?
- All Saints day is a day is when we celebrate ALL the saints in Heaven. It's a day to pray to the saints and ask them to intercede for us. This includes ALL the saints, even the ones that we don't realize are saints. Not all holy people who have died and gone to heaven are canonized by the Church. There are many holy people who have died and gone to heaven but have never been acknowledged by the Catholic Church. Even though they are not canonized, they are still saints. So we celebrate them all and ask for their intercession.
- All Souls day is a day we focus on prayer for those who have died and are suffering in Purgatory. These souls need our prayers to help them to get into Heaven. This is a special day dedicated to prayer for these needy souls.
So what does triumphant mean? Normally, when we say someone is triumphant we mean that they won or succeeded in what they were trying to do. For example, a runner is triumphant when he wins a race.
To help teach my kids about the Communion of Saints I created a few bulletin boards:
I made this first one a few years back. It hung in our church's entryway. The top is a white cloud with pictures of saints. In the middle was an artist idea of what Purgatory might look. I added the thorns around the picture. On the bottom was a collection of pictures of the parishioners in our parish. It was a big hit with the parishioners as they tried to find those they know. I also added a few pictures of the churches in our area, too.
Next was one I made for a talk I created for the kids of our local Catholic homeschool group several years ago. Jesus said, "I am the vine and you are the branches." All three groups in the Communion of Saints make up the branches. God is the vine that gives us all our life and grace.
This vine is split into three parts. The first part starting at the Holy Trinity, has leaves that contain pictures of the saints. The next group were just images of "souls", they are just average looking people who appear to be sad. On the last section I added images of the pope, our bishop, and a few different churches.
These were a great visual help when teaching about the Communion of Saints.
I also created a printable activity page that helps to teach the kids about The Communion of Saints"
Here are a few of our finished pages:
- The top section should be titled Church Triumphant. Have the children draw or color around the clouds in this section. They could also use glue or a stapler to add some cotton. Now they can paste on a few pictures of their favorite saints. Older children can draw saints.
- The middle should be labeled Church Suffering. The children can draw pictures, add photos, or write the names of those they know who have died. Have the children draw or color sharp rocks or thorny branches around the pictures and names. This is to symbolize their suffering. Remind the children that these souls need prayers.
- The bottom is for those who are living and striving to do God’s will. Draw or color grass, houses, trees, flowers, then have the children draw or add pictures of the Pope, bishops, as well as, family members.
Teachers: All pictures for this project could be brought from home as a homework assignment.
May all the Saints in Heaven pray for us!
And hope you all have a blessed All Saints Day!