All Saints Day
From Wikipedia: “Christian celebration of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day stems from a belief that there is a powerful spiritual bond between those in heaven (the “Church triumphant“), and the living (the “Church militant“). In Catholic theology, the day commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in Heaven. It is a national holiday in many historically Catholic countries. In Methodist theology, All Saints Day revolves around “giving God solemn thanks for the lives and deaths of his saints“, including those who are “famous or obscure”. As such, individuals throughout the Church Universal are honoured, such as Paul the Apostle, Augustine of Hippo and John Wesley, in addition to individuals who have personally led one to faith in Jesus, such as one’s grandmother or friend.“
From Anglican Pastor: “All Saints Day was focused on exemplary Christians. This doesn’t mean they were “perfect” Christians. It means that some aspect of God’s grace shined brightly in their lives, and was seen and acclaimed by many others. We commemorate the Patriarchs, the Prophets, and Mary, Joseph, the Apostles and so many other biblical saints. We also commemorate the saints of the Christian Church including martyrs like Perpetua, teachers like Augustine, and mystics like St. Teresa of Avila. Later, All Souls Day was added on November 2nd, as a way to acknowledge all believers.
This focus on the past helps us gain wisdom for the present. By focusing on these saints, we can learn from them. And since there is only one Body of Christ in heaven and on earth, we also celebrate our communion with them. Of course, this is mystical communion, which means that its out of our control. But we know it is real. We are in fellowship with those who have gone before us, since we are all in Christ. This helps us satisfy our human longing for communion with those who have gone before.
And we also celebrate our hope for reunion on All Saints Day. All who die in Christ are alive in him, and we will be resurrected together. So we aren’t just pining for the past, we are looking forward to a grand reunion.”
One of the treasures of becoming an Anglican is the observance of days like this.
We remember and honor those who have spiritually impacted both ourselves personally and the church as a whole.
We remember, I hope, that they are more alive now than they have ever been.
We remember that our fellowship with them hasn’t been broken, just temporarily changed.
We look forward to a reunion after which there will be no more separation.
Of course, I believe some of these saints are praying for me now…
Who do you commemorate today?