Three Sundays of Commemoration

“There are three special Sunday commemorations which are made at the end of Epiphany time: for Deceased Priests, for the Righteous and Just (All Saints), and for the Faithful Departed (All souls) in general.

These commemorations of the Departed are to be seen in the context of the Epiphany emphasis on the charismational mission of all Christians, and on the destiny of those faithful to their baptismal calling. Those who have died to this life are on the next stage of their journey to the Kingdom. If they have died faithful to the Gospel commandment to love, they will one day be called to the Eternal Light by Christ, the “True Hope who never fails’.”

(The above are excerpts from “Captivated By Your Teachings: A Resource Book for Adult Maronite Catholics” written by Rev. Anthony J. Salim).

(From Prayer of the Faithful According to the Maronite Liturgical Year)

In the Maronite Church, this year, January 24th  is the Sunday of the Righteous and Just. This is actually the traditional Maronite feast in honor of all saints. Whereas the Latin Church celebrates the feast of All Saints November 1st, the Maronite Church, following its ancient tradition dedicates this Sunday to their memory.

On this day we call to mind all the men and women, children of the Church, who have followed the path of justice and righteousness. We remember the prophets, apostles and martyrs, the hermits, ascetics, men and women religious, as well as all Christians who have lead holy lives. As our liturgy so often reminds us, they are just in the sight of God because they have patterned their lives on Jesus Christ, the Just One. The saints are our models; their prayers and fasting have taught us to fight against sin and temptation and so gain the reward of righteousness. The saints are our intercessors; by their prayers we obtain the pardon of our sins and are strengthened in the Christian virtues. They were the salt of the earth and the light of the world, they call us to follow their path. Through their intercession may we one day merit eternal life with God.