Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy All Saints Day!

I hope you had a wonderful Halloween. And an even better All Saints Day.
(Yesterday we ran an errand to a new big-box-department-store (more on that another time) and there were already Christmas decorations up. Really!?)
Our Halloween was pretty mellow - we managed to carve a couple of pumpkins while the munchkin napped yesterday afternoon, the munchkin wore her (tags-still-on-it-79-cent gift from her Auntie) costume long enough to get a couple of photos snapped, and last night all of 17 trick-or-treaters landed on our porch to get bags of Cheddar Goldfish (something salty to balance all the sugar).

While we ate lunch yesterday, G asked me which saints I'd be remembering and giving thanks for today. I didn't give him much of an answer - asked him his own question, instead, but he did get me thinking. He mentioned a whole host of folks who were members of congregations he's served, and several family members. I thought of a couple of the great church ladies I've known and buried, but mostly thought of seminary classmates, colleagues, and friends who are very much alive and well.
I appreciated the emphasis on contemporary saints in this article, though I wish the author had suggested looking at the person sitting next to you in the pew as a saint for whom we can give thanks - or looking in the mirror and thanking God that God can turn even you (me!) into a saint.
Our congregation celebrated Reformation Sunday this past weekend. Our All Saints celebration will be this weekend. In addition to naming, and lighting candles for, members of the congregation who have died since All Saints last year, we've added the practice of naming and lighting candles for every person baptized in the past year, too, since in the 3+ years we've served this parish, only one member has died. And, everyone in worship will have the opportunity to light a candle in honor/thanksgiving/remembrance of the saints in their lives. The ritual action can be so powerful, and the solemnity of the day inspires awe and reverance in even the most pyromaniacal of kids.
I'm glad we'll have that time in worship, but I wish it could have happened today - so people would have a better chance of getting the connection between the EVENING of All Hallows and the DAY of All Saints.

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