…to Celebrate All Saints Day!
When you step into the sanctuary today (remember to fall BACK an hour) you will be bowled over by the simple and beautiful decorations of flowers and greenery that denote a special day on our calendar. And despite the wild raging culture of ghosts, witches, vampires, and movie characters all around us (in the US, anyway), the holiday is All Saints Day.
So what is a saint? What significance, if any, do they have on our lives today? Should they? There are a few quotes/resources here to get the conversation started.
“There’s plenty of room for faith heroes in this landscape. But the Christians we honor — with the formal designation of “saint” or more generally as theologians, activists, and social justice leaders — are not always wholly admirable people, or even particularly special. They are prone to angst and anger, doubt and self-doubt, inanity and brilliance. The lives of these saints are, frankly, a continuation of the complicated characters in the Bible. And several — from the mystics and soldiers of the 900s to the social justice heroes of the 20th century — have lived in direct conflict with each other, pursuing theologies or ideologies or life work that are diametrically opposed.”
This is from a blog post that breaks down a little of the history and culture of Halloween and All Saints Day. And while the history is interesting and worth reading, I’d like to spend the little time we’ll have together tomorrow on saints – if you have a saint’s story you’d like to share please come ready to do so. If not, try looking up a story of saint, and come ready to tell us about him or her.
At its best, the liturgy of All Saints represents the highest aims of humanity — to be kind, to love each other, and to approach, with honesty and wonder, what may be greater than ourselves.
The saints remind us that sometimes we get a little bit closer than we can reasonably expect. And they give us hope that perhaps one day we’ll be remembered — not for our heroic feats, but for loving a divine God, and each other, a little more fiercely than we thought we could.
[see full article at sojourners.net – Catherine Woodiwiss’s full blog A More Hallowed Eve]
Also, note that there are Roman Catholic saints, officially recognized by a pope and having met certain criteria, etc. The Episcopal church generally recognizes them, too. But the Episcopal church goes further in recognizing lots of other modern day men and women as heroes of the church, for a list, this wikipedia article is helpful. Click on a link and read away!
See you tomorrow at 9:15 in the library. John