Celebrating Holy Days in the liturgical calendar looks different for every person, especially people living in different states of life. Some celebrations anyone can do, while others are easier if you’re single. Still, some ways of celebrating are perfect for a couple.
Here are some ideas in each category to get you ready to celebrate all those holy men and women in heaven interceding for us this All Saint’s Day.
No matter what your relationship status is this year, these ideas are perfect for all Catholics!
Go to Mass
A great way to celebrate the saints who have gone before us is to go to Mass. What better way to be united to the giants of our faith and the other faithful departed than to receive the Eucharist? The Mass is heaven kissing earth, and this is one sign of affection you can be overjoyed to participate in as often as possible.
Pray a litany of saints
Make a litany of your patron saints, saints you like or have a particular devotion to, and any titles or apparitions of Mary you like. Then, pray it at least once on this day especially in the month of November.
This prayer honors those who have a great impact on your life. It also helps you professes your belief that they are in Heaven and will talk to God face to face for you. It’s like calling your friends!
Display icons or pictures of your favorite saints
Having images of those we love and look up to helps us call them to mind often and also reminds us of their humanity. Once upon a time, every saint was a regular human being like you and I, fighting concupiscence and striving to know and heed the will of God.
This is also a great way of making the saints more physically present in our lives. We hang pictures of family and friends because we want to remember them and have part of them with us–icons of the saints are no different.
If you’re single
Pick a patron saint for this particular season of your life
There are plenty of saints who were single, both lay and religious. Having a friend to walk through this period with you will help you keep your eyes fixed on God and will lessen your worry about the future.
Also, being single can get lonely, so having a special intercessor and pal can really help to lighten the load. A great place to start, if you have no clue, is with Jen Fulwiler’s saint name generator.
Read a biography of a lesser known saint
There are plenty of saints in heaven whose names we don’t know. They are unknown, just like their lives on earth were. Most of us are pretty unknown. Reading the biography of a lesser known saint is a great way to connect with someone new.
This practice also reminds us that it doesn’t matter how little or unseen we are, how few big things we do or accomplish, or how average we seem, we’re all called to holiness and will someday obtain Heaven if we just keep on trucking.
If you’re in a relationship
Pick a patron saint(s) for your relationship!
Having a patron is a great way to strengthen your bond and to keep you both grounded in the faith. My now-husband and I did this when we were dating, and Saint Ignatius of Loyola continues to play a part in our marriage all these years later.
You don’t have to choose married saints, either! Any saint will do. Pick someone who you both look up to or one who is the patron of common interests, or just a random saint! It’ll be amazing to discover how this saint really relates to you and your relationship as you both get to know him or her together.
Read about married saints together
The letters of Saint Gianna Beretta Molla to her husband are beautiful, as is the story of Saints Louis and Zelie Martin. There are lots of other married saints, too! The point here is to see how two people lived out the common vocation of marriage while individually becoming saints together. This will give you great insight into married life and what it will take to be holy while being married.
Also, it will help remove any rose-colored relationship glasses you might be wearing, either in regard to this specific person or the vocation to marriage in general. It can help you make the practical decisions that will strengthen you and your relationship with God.
Create a combined prayer routine
Sharing a common life is what marriage is all about (and really, what the whole of Christian life is about). Starting small and simple while dating can provide a great foundation for the future of the relationship.
While you are in a relationship, you are not yet married and so your lives cannot be quite that entangled yet. Building a foundation is also necessary for the relationship not to topple in the future. Also, if you do happen to break up, this will be one less wound while untangling (and that will help keep your prayer life on track after the breakup).
Make it a point to remind each other to pray or to pray a simple prayer together over the phone every night (like the prayer to Saint Michael or a Hail Mary). As your relationship grows, so should your common prayer, but take that slow.
A great day to start any of these acts is All Saints Day! It honors those who have gone before us, connects us to them and the greater story of salvation history, and ensures that we start in community. Happy All Saints Day! All you holy men and women, angels and saints, pray for us.
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