October 31st has become a day synonymous with all things ghoulish, dark and frightening. But Halloween, which is a derivative of ‘All Hallows Eve’, the Eve of all that is holy, finds its roots in the celebration of All Saints Day (November 1st). On the Solemnity of All Saints we celebrate the glory of all the Saints in heaven. The darkness of the night prior calls on us to reflect upon the darkness of death and the ends (judgement, heaven and hell). Whilst we have fun dressing up as our favourite monsters the ghouls and monsters of Halloween evoke the fear of hell and invite us to come to the glory of heaven as the new day dawns.
The parish of All Saints, Newport spent the night of All Hallows Eve at watch with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, contemplating the end things and praying for the city of Newport, its residents and all the parishioners. Praying for conversion, protection and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The celebration began with a 9.00pm Vigil Mass of All Saints at St. Mary’s church in the city centre, after which Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament was exposed and adored until just prior to the 7.30am celebration of All Saints.
Throughout the night a steady number of people came to the church to offer their prayers. At each hour of the night, a special prayer was prayed for the city. It truly was a special way to welcome the celebration of All Saints, and to commend the parish and the city to the Lord and his protecting hand.