I have fond memories of sitting in my parish church as a lad and reading the commentary on the liturgy of All Saints Day by Pius Parsch in The Church’s Year of Grace, one of my favourite books at the time. Parsch described the glory of First Vespers of All Saints with reliquaries glistening on the altar amidst clouds of incense: a foretaste of the liturgy of heaven.
Later on, in Blessed Abbot Marmion’s book, Christ in His Mysteries, I read the chapter entitled, “Christ the Crown of All the Saints.” Listen to what Dom Marmion says: “When we celebrate the Feast of All Saints, we ought to repeat to ourselves the words that St. Augustine heard: Cur non poteris quod isti, quod istae? What reasons have we for not tending to holiness? Oh, I know well what each one is tempted to say: ‘I have such or such a difficulty, I have such or such a trial to contend with, I cannot become saint.’ But be sure that all the saints have met with such difficulties, such trials, and much greater ones than yours. Thus then