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