After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. Revelation 7:9
Dear Friends in Christ,
This weekend, we celebrate the feast of All Saints. All Saints Day is the first of November, and the feast is often transferred to the following Sunday. This feast is how Halloween gets its name: “All Hallow’s Eve,” the eve of the feast of all those hallowed—all those made holy in Christ. There are those whose Christian witness is exceptionally memorable, and some of these we title “saints.” But the word “saints” in the New Testament signifies all Christians.
We are not holy because we are perfect (we are not perfect). We are holy because God makes us holy. God sets us apart for himself. God pours upon us his Holy Spirit to sanctify our lives, to draw us closer to God each day. All these words: hallow, holy, saint, sanctify, are related to each other: set apart by God for a life set apart with him.
On All Saints, we remember that, in Christ, we are connected with all those who are alive in Christ. We are connected to Christians in our parish, Christians across the street and down the street and around the world. Those who are alive in Christ include those who have died and await the resurrection, and we are connected with them in Christ as well. We call this ‘the Communion of Saints,’ and we are drawn together in this communion most especially in the sacrament of Holy Communion, where we share communion with Christ and his church, around the world and throughout time, the union of the church militant (in this present life), the church expectant (awaiting the resurrection), and a foretaste of our union at the end of all things: the church triumphant at the resurrection.
Come mark this feast day with us this weekend. Come remember those saints who have died over the past year. Remember those special to you, whose faith brought you God’s grace. And remember Jesus who has blessed all of us with the communion of saints.
(Note that, at this Sunday’s Sunday School class in the parish hall, we will have a recap of our ‘Holy Living, Holy Dying’ workshop on planning for our care, funerals, wills and for the legacy we leave. 9:15 – 10:15)
Yours in Christ,