All Saints’ Day Honors Memories of Loved Ones Lost

On Thursday, Nov. 2, Marymount celebrated All Saints’ Day with a Mass devoted to the lives of those who have passed. Led by Fr. Ron Schmidt, Marymount students incorporated Jewish prayer to honor those lost at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburg, Penn., and the Mexican holiday of Día de los Muertos into Catholic tradition.
All Saints’ Day, a holy day of obligation in the Catholic church, commemorates every individual in heaven, even those who salvation is known only to God.
During his homily, Fr. Schmidt drew on the similarities of Catholic and Jewish religions, both of which offer blessings to the memories of loved ones passed. He asked our community to share memories of someone loved who is no longer with us.

“What was the grace of their lives to you?” Fr. Schmidt asked.

Students and faculty members shared stories of grandmothers, grandfathers, sons and revered religious clergy.

Performing arts students celebrated Dia de los Mortes with a liturgical dance set to the music of Delta Rae’s Dance in the Graveyard. Marymount’s choir sang Shawn Kirchner’s Eye for Eye, a song associated with current student movements to disarm hate and violence.

In 609 AD, Pope Boniface IV established All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, celebrated on Nov. 2. These two Catholic celebrations are often confused: where All Saints’ Day is dedicated to those who are in heaven, All Souls' Day offers prayers for all those who have died but have not yet reached heaven.
The Mexican holiday the Day of the Dead is celebrated in the United States and Latin American from Oct. 31 through Nov. 2 to coincide with American tradition and Catholic holy days. The tradition, inscribed in 2008 to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, asks for prayers for friends and family members who have died to help support their spiritual journey.