When I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I didn’t cry until Fred died, and then I started sobbing. (Many apologies, confused people who were on that plane with me!). After I was finished, I was at loose ends, not sure what to do next. And I ended up listening to “Those You’ve Known” from Spring Awakening on repeat. As in Deathly Hallows, the protagonist is comforted and led by the spectral presence of deceased characters.
It’s come back into my head today, on the Feast of All Souls.
Those you’ve known
And lost, still walk behind you
They linger till they find you
The world grows dark around you
And nothing is the same until you know that they have found you
Those you’ve pained
May carry that still with them
All the same
They whisper: “All forgiven.”
One thing that’s especially nice in the context of the musical is that this song picks up some of the melody and motifs from “All That’s Known” in the beginning of the show, which is a much more isolated song (all the pronouns are ‘I’ and ‘you’ and they’re set in irreconcilable opposition). By the end of the show, the protagonist hasn’t just grown up and out of his community (though, since it’s a poisonous one, we’re glad he’s done that); he’s found some kind of community and obligation to others.
— — —But if you like your All Saints and All Souls posts to be a little less musical and a little more non-fictional verging on fictional, may I point you to this story via DarwinCatholic?
So now the Church had feasts for all those in heaven and all those in purgatory? What about those in the other place? It seems Irish Catholic peasants wondered about the unfortunate souls in hell. After all, if the souls in hell are left out when we celebrate those in heaven and purgatory, they might be unhappy enough to cause trouble. So it became customary to bang pots and pans on All Hallows Even to let the damned know they were not forgotten. Thus, in Ireland, at least, all the dead came to be remembered — even if the clergy were not terribly sympathetic to Halloween and never allowed All Damned Day into the Church calendar.