Monday, November 1, 2010

Feast of All Saints

Happy Feast Day,

I hope you are having a wonderful Feast of All Saints. As a theology teacher, I took advantage of my role to pull together a little prayer with my sophomore classes. I found a looooong litany of saints and inserted their patron saints from confirmation (mine too). I also brought in a few more of the women saints of our Church (doctors and foundresses) to round out the litany. A reading from St. Bernard's reflections about the Feast and our prayer was set.

All things considered, prayer went well. Different students led the litany's different sections and only a few saint names were creatively pronounced by my boys. We all sat fairly respectfully in chapel while praying; a few did drift into a more meditative state. But I was surprised by a question from both classes.

"What are those things over there?" The 'things' were the monks' display of reliquaries at the front of the chapel. While I borrowed the above picture from a general website, the monks display was quite beautiful. Some of their reliquaries were designed to look like church towers with all four sides encased in glass to display the relics of the saints; others were simple cross displays such as those above. I invited the boys to respectfully gather around the display and ask their questions. They wanted to know what the relics were, why we have these 'bit's and pieces' of the saints. They also asked about the elaborate displays and who the saints might be. As I shared about these ideas, it struck me that I hadn't thought about these things for a long time and took for granted that others knew and understood this collecting aspect of our Church. We were both amazed at how much I remembered about the topic.

May the Saints Bless you,

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