Friday, November 01, 2013

All Saints Day

In case yesterday's All Hallows' Eve festivities did not clue you in, today is All Hallows Day--and a Holy Day of Obligation. When you go to Mass, you'll be in some pretty illustrious company:
These are just twelve of the twenty-four elders in John's vision of heaven from the Book of Revelation (our first reading). (If you go to the Basilica of St. Praxedes in Rome, you can see the other twelve; my pictures did not come out very well.) Those circles they are holding are their crowns. Yes, these are the famous "casting crowns" sung about in the hymn "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty" (as well as the "Casting Crowns" of the eponymous music group).

There is a reason so many 10th century mosaics feature images and scenes from the Book of Revelation right around (or above) the altar: the two realities are one and the same, just experienced from different perspectives. Today, when you sing the Holy Holy Holy at Mass, imagine yourself offering that same prayer of adoration from the place reserved for you, up there with the elders.

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