For the Souls Gone Before

This week we've been given absolutely amazing weather.  It's the first week of November and the thermometer hit 70 yesterday.  We did outside chores, went to the park with friends, the boys wrestled in the yard, and I changed my dinner plan of chili to grilled hamburgers.  It's been fabulous.  There's an almost tangible attitude in the air of reveling in the gift and soaking it all in before the inevitable winter arrives.  People still visibly shudder when we talk about how long and deep the cold was last year.  We remember.

On Monday we took the day off of lessons and went to the cemetery for All Souls' Day.  We've never before been able to do that in this climate in November and actually enjoy it!  It was beautiful.

I absolutely love that our parish has a cemetery attached to it.  It is so sobering and grounding and communal.  I feel a sense of connection with these people I've never met who worshipped in the same church and whose bodies now rest in its land.  I really think we lose something important when the cemeteries are centralized and massive.  (And our pastor says that having a cemetery was one of the biggest factors in keeping the church from closing when the diocese closed a whole bunch of parishes a few years back.)  Some of the graves go back to the early 1800s.  I think that's amazing.

We first went to the parish office to finally have Masses said for the people we know who have died.  I'm terrible at doing that because it requires a separate trip to the office during normal business hours and that's only gonna happen if I make a special trip and bring all the kids on a weekday into the perilous confines of a rectory office filled with things to grab and touch.  So it doesn't.  (Shouldn't they have the ability to do that online now?  I know it takes away from the personal feel but I'm sure the stay at home moms and homebound would appreciate it.  Wouldn't that be a good idea?  Our secretary didn't agree.  Anyway.)  I sucked it up this time, offered it up, and we got through it without incident.  Then we went over to the cemetery to pray together and separately, visit, and picnic.  It blows my mind that each one of these stones represents a real person, equal in worth and importance to any of us.  It's so important that we pray for those that need it.

(Kendra has a great explanation of praying for the dead today if you'd like to learn more!  There's also some full indulgences attached to praying at the cemetery this week.  And yes.  We Catholics still do that ;)

David still had his tonsure at this point…it's since been shaved off ;)

The broken gravestones make me sad.  I wonder if there's a way we could fix them.

 The ladybugs have been invading the last weeks!  I was kinda proud of capturing this picture, all fancy like.  I'm not sure why the red shell and spots makes them cuter and less of an annoyance.  Can you imagine if they had black shells?  We'd probably just be grossed out.

Picnics in cemeteries used to be a cultural thing.  I'm gonna bring it back, I think.  Our cemetery is beautiful and the kids did a good job of staying age-appropriately respectful.

{funny and real}
The weather is amazing but this is what happens when you try to snag a few pictures of the squirmy and hilarious five month old in the noontime sun.

I tried.

We're in for another beautiful day so I'm off to rush lessons, open windows, paint doors, and do some more soaking in…hope you are, too!


  1. If you are still in the 70's, I guess I can't complain about being in the high 70's. Your pictures are beautiful. I love being in cemeteries. Is it weird that in college I would go to them to study? They are beautiful, and nobody bothers you.

  2. I just clicked on your link from Like mother like daughter and just had to say your boys are all gorgeous! I have three gorgeous boys, aged 3, 2 and 1 and I get way to many comments about how crazy I am to have my three little musketeers. Lovely to "meet" another mama with a bunch of boys who loves every wonderful crazy minute with each of her precious little men! :-)

  3. Why on earth do you have to go into the Parish Office to request Masses said? What do you have to do that is so special? I just ask the priest, or fill in the little envelope at the back of the Church or I could ring the Parish Office or send an email. Crazy. Lots' of work people could find it difficult too, how many Mass requests aren't being made because it's too hard. Why don't you ask the priest if it can be changed? He's probably not even aware of the difficulty, sounds like the secretary doesn't like change.

    1. I should be fair. I could probably call and arrange to send a check or put it in the collection but so many steps and I avoid the phone at all costs. They are very concerned about dates and days and spelling and I feel like it would be much more complication than just going in. So it's my fault for being a wimp :) But an online calendar program where you could pick your own day and even pay right there would be SO nice, wouldn't it?


Thank you for visiting and reading! I love hearing from readers so if a comment box on a post is turned off, it's because Blogger is terrible about filtering spam. If you'd like to send me a message, please use my contact page. Thank you!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.