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November 2 is All Souls' Day. This is a day set aside for all the dead who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith. Our love and work on earth can be a blessing those who have died, just as their love is a blessing for the living.

In many parts of the world this day is a day of visiting cemeteries, decorating graves and even having a picnic in the cemetery. Extra food is set aside for the dead to share. In some places people light candles at grave sites as they remember and respect their loved-ones who have died. In other parts of the world people honor this day by giving alms to the poor or by planting a tree or by donating to a hospital. In Latin America, the Day of the Dead is not gloomy or sad. It is filled with life. Vendors sell candies in the shapes of skulls, skeletons and coffins. Newspapers have fake death notices for politicians and movie stars as a way to poke fun at people in power. In the Mediterranean lands, this day is associated with gift-giving.

All Souls reminds us that it's good to speak about tHe dead, and to remember and to pray. The month of November with its lengthening time of darkness can remind us of the end of our lives - that our life on earth is short, and as we await the passage from this life to eternal life we need to express our hope of joining all the saints in glory by striving to live good, holy, productive, Christ-centered lives.

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