Remembering the Saints

Image of a church altar on All Saints Sunday

Image of a church altar on All Saints Sunday

We will celebrate the festival of All Saints in worship the weekend of November 3-4. It is a time for us to give thanks for all the saints - the loved ones and friends who have died - and draw strength, courage and faith from them. It is one of the most meaningful weekends of worship of the whole year for me personally. In fact, I wait all year to sing with gusto the hymn “For All the Saints” as I remember the saints in my life.

One of the most powerful things about All Saints Sunday is that it offers us the opportunity to know and trust that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who have died and gone before us. When we gather around the altar for Holy Communion, the air between heaven and earth is as thin as it gets. Holy Communion is a foretaste of the heavenly feast to come. It is an opportunity for us to connect with our friends and loved ones in the great cloud of witnesses in the most powerful of ways. We believe that when we share in Holy Communion that we do so with the body of Christ on earth and the saints in heaven.

We’re going to try something a bit different this year as we remember the saints who have gone before us and are part of the great cloud of witnesses. We want to create a visual representation of the friends and loved ones who gather with us at the Lord’s Table not just on All Saints Sunday, but every weekend we worship.

In order to do this, I’d like to invite you to bring in a picture of your friends and/or loved ones who have died. It can be in a frame or not in a frame, any size or shape you wish. Please put your name on it so we can be sure to get it back to you. Pictures can be dropped off in the church office anytime before November 3 or you can bring them to worship with you the weekend of November 3-4 and put them directly on the altar. If you would rather not bring a picture, you can fill out a name card with your loved one’s name or email the name for us to fill it out. These name cards will be displayed along with the pictures. I hope it will be a beautiful representation of pictures and name cards to help all of us experience power of being surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses.

We will also be reading the names of anyone who has died since last All Saints Sunday. If you have a loved one who has died this past year, please email the name along with their date of death (or approximate date of death). We will read these names aloud in worship.

If you have any questions or would like to be involved in helping to put together our display of saints, please let me know. I look forward to celebrating all the saints with you next month.