We celebrated Mass in the Extraordinary Form on the evening of All Saints with a congregation of some 60 people. In his homily Fr Goddard said that the Saints listened to God and obeyed Him, and we must do the same, even though it may bring trials to us as it did to them. The Gospel was part of the Beatitudes in St Matthew’s Gospel and we were told that Jesus Himself perfectly fulfilled the ‘Blessed’ statements that He made about being humble, pure in heart and so on. The atmosphere was one of celebrating the lives and examples of those who have gone before us – both known and unknown – and now pray for us in Heaven.
By contrast, the atmosphere on the morning of All Souls was sombre as we remembered the Holy Souls in Purgatory. About 50 people attended the Mass. A cataflaque surrounded by candles had been set up in the aisle. Fr Goddard wore a black chasuble and the joyful parts of the Mass, such as the Gloria, were missing. The sequence reminding us of death and judgment was read out. There was no homily and no Salve Regina at the end; the cataflaque was sprinkled with holy water and incensed.
Let us not forget to pray for those whose place in Heaven is assured, but have not reached it yet.