Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

November 2023 — Overview for the Month

by Catholic Culture Staff


The month of November is dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory whose feast is celebrated on November 2.


November 26
Solemnity of Christ the King

The last Sunday of the Liturgical Year. This feast is a public, social and official declaration of the royal rights of Jesus, as God the Creator, as The Word Incarnate, and as Redeemer.

Recipe of the Month
Hungarian Goulash
The Hungarian version of pot roast, known as gulyas in Hungary, this is a stew made with beef or other meat and vegetables and flavored with Hungarian paprika. This is offered in honor of all the saints who come from Hungary.

Activity of the Month
All Saints' Day Procession
Celebrate this feast with your family. If there are children involved, we suggest saints costumes, goodies and games such as bobbing for apples or snap apples (a variation) and playing "Who Is my Saint?".


All Saints

The crown refers to sanctity, the scrolls with the inscription Sanctus allude to the chant of the redeemed, "Holy, Holy, Holy." The left half of the shield indicates the brightness of the Heavenly life in contrast to the black right half and the trials of the earthly life.

The Presentation of Mary

This emblem, a heart with wings and pierced by a sword and suggestive of Mater Dolorosa, is a reference to the words of Simeon, "Yea, a sword shall pass through thine own soul also."

St. Cecilia

The only apparent reason for her to be known as the patroness of music is that St. Cecilia is said to have been skilled in singing the divine praises, oft accompanied by an instrument.

St. Catherine of Alexandria

Patron of chastity and learning. The wheel set with spikes refers to that mentioned in the legend, which is said to have been broken by divine interposition, when persecutors attempted to break her upon it.

St. Andrew

The patron of Russia, Scotland, and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. According to tradition St. Andrew was crucified on an X-shaped cross, known as a saltire of St. Andrew's cross, in Achaia.

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine.

Publisher & Date

Catholic Culture, June 29, 2021

The entire month of November falls during the liturgical season known as Tempus per Annum or Ordinary Time (formerly Time After Pentecost), which is represented by the liturgical color green. Green is a symbol of hope, as it is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. The liturgical color green is worn during the praying of Offices and celebration of Masses of Ordinary Time. The last portion of the liturgical year represents the time of our pilgrimage to heaven during which we hope for reward.

The Holy Father's Intentions for the Month of November 2023

For the Pope: We pray for the Holy Father; as he fulfils his mission, may he continue to accompany the flock entrusted to him, with the help of the Holy Spirit. (See also

Feast Days for November 2023

1. ALL SAINTS, Solemnity
2. ALL SOULS, Commem.
3. Martin de Porres, Opt. Mem.
4. Charles Borromeo, Memorial
9. Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, Feast
10. Leo the Great, Memorial
11. Martin of Tours; Veterans Day (USA), Memorial
13. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Memorial
15. Albert the Great, Opt. Mem.
16. Margaret of Scotland; Gertrude, Opt. Mem.
17. Elizabeth of Hungary, Memorial
18. Basilicas of Peter and Paul; Rose Philippine Duchesne (USA), Opt. Mem.
21. Presentation of Mary, Memorial
22. Cecilia, Memorial
23. Clement I; Columban; Bl. Miguel Agustín Pro (USA); Thanksgiving Day (USA), Opt. Mem.
24. Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions, Memorial
25. Catherine of Alexandria, Opt. Mem.
30. Andrew, Apostle, Feast

Focus of the Liturgy

The Gospels for the Sundays in November 2023, are from St. Matthew, Year A, and the Weekdays follow Year I.

November 5th
Thirty-First Sunday
in Ordinary Time

Matthew 23:1-12: They preach but they do not practice.

November 12th
Thirty-Second Sunday
in Ordinary Time

Matthew 25:1-13: Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!

November 19th
Thirty-Third Sunday
in Ordinary Time

Matthew 25:14-30: Since you were faithful in small matters, come, share your master's joy.

November 26th
The Solemnity of Our
Lord Jesus Christ,
King of the Universe

Matthew 25:31-46: The Son of Man will sit upon his glorious throne and he will separate them one from another.

Highlights of the Month
During November, as in all of Ordinary Time (Time After Pentecost), the Liturgy signifies and expresses the regenerated life from the coming of the Holy Spirit, which is to be spent on the model of Christ's Life and under the direction of His Spirit. As we come to the end of the Church year we are asked to consider the end times, our own as well as the world's. The culmination of the liturgical year is the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. "This feast asserts the supreme authority of Christ over human beings and their institutions.... Beyond it we see Advent dawning with its perspective of the Lord's coming in glory."— The Liturgy and Time, A.G. Mortimort

The month of November is very full of Memorials, feasts and solemnities. The main feast days are the Solemnity of All Saints (November 1), The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls) (November 2), the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome (November 9), The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (November 26), and St. Andrew (November 30).
The other saint days are:
St. Martin de Porres (November 3),
St. Charles Borromeo, (November 4),
Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome (November 9),
St. Leo the Great (November 10),
St. Martin of Tours, (November 11),
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (November 13)
St. Albert the Great (November 15),
Sts. Margaret of Scotland and Gertrude (November 16),
St. Elizabeth of Hungary (November 17),
Presentation of Mary (November 21),
St. Cecilia (November 22),
Sts. Clement I and St. Columban (November 23),
St. Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions (November 24).
St. Catherine of Alexandria (November 25),

The Memorial of St. Josaphat (November 12),
is superseded by the Sunday Liturgy.

The national holiday (USA) of Thanksgiving also falls on the last Thursday of November. There are special Mass propers which may be used on this day. (Read more here.)

The tradition of eating goose as part of the Martin's Day celebration was kept in Holland even after the Reformation. It was there that the Pilgrims who sailed to the New World in 1620 became familiar with this ancient harvest festival. When, after one year in America, they decided to celebrate a three days' thanksgiving in the autumn of 1621, they went in search of geese for their feast. We know that they also had deer (a present from the Indians), lobsters, oysters, and fish. But Edward Winslow, in his account of the feast, only mentions that "Governor Bradford sent four men on fowling that so we might after a more special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruit of our labours." They actually did find some wild geese, and a number of wild turkeys and ducks as well.

The Pilgrim Fathers, therefore, in serving wild turkeys with the geese, inaugurated one of the most cherished American traditions: the turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Day. They also drank, according to the ancient European tradition, the first wine of their wild-grape harvest. Pumpkin pie and cranberries were not part of the first Thanksgiving dinner in America, but were introduced many years afterward.

The second Thanksgiving Day in the New World was held by the Pilgrims two years later, on July 30, 1623. It was formally proclaimed by the governor as a day of prayer to thank God for their deliverance from drought and starvation, and for the safe arrival from Holland of the ship Anne.

In 1665 Connecticut proclaimed a solemn day of thanksgiving to be kept annually on the last Wednesday in October. Other New England colonies held occasional and local Thanksgivings at various times. In 1789 the federal Congress authorized and requested President George Washington to proclaim a day of thanksgiving for the whole nation. Washington did this in a message setting aside November 26, 1789 as National Thanksgiving Day.

After 1789 the celebration reverted to local and regional observance for almost a hundred years. There grew, however, a strong desire among the majority of the people for a national Thanksgiving Day that would unite all Americans in a festival of gratitude and public acknowledgment for all the blessings God had conferred upon the nation. It was not until October 3, 1863, that this was accomplished, when President Abraham Lincoln issued, in the midst of the Civil War, a Thanksgiving Proclamation. In it the last Thursday of November was set apart for that purpose and made a national holiday.

Since then, every president has followed Lincoln's example, and annually proclaims as a "Day of Thanksgiving" the fourth Thursday in November. Only President Franklin D. Roosevelt changed the date, in 1939, from the fourth to the third Thursday of November (to extend the time of Christmas sales). This caused so much consternation and protest that in 1941 the traditional date was restored."
—Excerpted from the Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs, Francis X. Weiser

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