To address the invocation of the saints.
This is another accepted and time honored practice that goes all the way back to the earliest days of the Church. By invocation; we Catholics mean we pray to the saints in Heaven for them to pray for us. Since we know the prayers of the righteous man avail much; we can be confident that saints, the dead who are holy enough to be in Heaven with God; are more righteous than us here on Earth and thus we know their prayers are more powerful than ours. Thus, we pray to the saints.
Little is it known among Protestants, but; the invocation of the saints is a Biblical practice that goes all the way back to Old Testament times. We can see in 2 Maccabees the story of Onias interceding for the Jewish rebels and the soldiers of the Maccabean army praying for the souls of dead Jewish collaborators whose bodies are found wearing pagan amulets.
Fun fact: Luther and his fellow rebels cut 7 books from the Old Testament and thus: You don’t see the Biblical supporting evidence for the invocation of the saints and prayers for the dead in shortened Protestant Bibles.
Thus, we see the Biblical precedent for both of these pious, perfectly acceptable and time honored practices.
I do know, from private experience I might add; that in Lutheran communities, when the word saints or the communion of saints comes up; the meaning is typically applied to the members of the congregation and the communion among the congregation. And somehow communion is emphatically not with the dead in Heaven. Purgatory was completely cut out. Purgatory is a Biblical concept as well, found in the Gospels. But, that’s material for a later time.
In the Church, Saints are the holy dead who made it to Heaven and the communion of saints is the communion of the saints in Heaven, the dead in purgatory and the living on Earth. We’re all still one Body of Christ and still pray for each other.
Hope this all helps.
God bless you, Jon.