Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Month in Pictures: November 2016

by Krista Hall

November opens with two feast days, All Saints and All Souls. On the Feast of All Saints, the seminary community gathers for Compline and then processes to the Archabbey Cemetery with candles. They place the lit candles on each tombstone, hold a short ceremony and head back up the hill to the school. The candles light up the cemetery all night.  

The next morning on All Souls Day, the monastic community has Mass as usual. After Communion, they light candles and, after Mass has ended, process to the cemetery with their hoods up. In the cemetery, the monks sing and pray for their brothers who have died. The Archabbot sprinkles holy water on all of the gravestones.

These two traditions are important, because we need to take time to remember and honor those who have come before us. 

The Archabbey Cemetery is photogenic any time of the year, but I think it's even more visual at dusk and dawn on All Saints and All Souls days. The light outside is blue, but it's not completely dark yet and the candlelight puts off a warm glow. Those contrasting colors and the cemetery scenery really give off a feeling of fall.

Seminarian Minh Vu photographed the All Saints procession this year and Krista Hall photographed the All Souls procession.

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Echoes from the Bell Tower is a blog devoted to observations on Christian faith, spirituality and everyday events, by authors with a connection to the Benedictine values found at Saint Meinrad Archabbey and its Seminary and School of Theology. Contributors include students, permanent deacons, Benedictine oblates and Saint Meinrad monks. Their stories, thoughts and ideas highlight the mission and vision that ring out from the bell towers on this Hill in southern Indiana.


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