Every year on November 1, the Christian world takes time to remember and celebrate our saints. We refer to saints as those who lived and died in the faith of Jesus Christ. Much of culture celebrates Halloween, or All Hallows’ (saints) Eve, with little to no reference to the connection to All Saints. As people of faith, it is important that we pause on November 1 to bring to mind the saints who have walked with us in our lives.
There has always been a connection with the “great cloud of witnesses” as we read in Hebrews throughout the history of the church. The church is not just those on earth, but includes those in heaven. All Saints Day is a time for us to offer our thanks to God for those who have gone before us in the faith.
Who are the saints in your life?
Who are the saints in your life that you would like to give thanks for today? Perhaps you have family members who lived and died in the faith and shared that faith with you that you remember today. It could be a pastor, a close and faithful friend from church, or even a historical saint whom you never met, but who still had a strong influence on your life that you wish to give thanks for today.
My invitation to you today is to say the names of your saints out loud. Light a candle in honor of them. Enter into a time of silent prayer where you make room for those memories to flood your mind and heart. Then pray aloud in thanksgiving for those people and memories that came to mind.
All Saints Day at Castleton UMC
At Castleton we will celebrate All Saints Sunday on November 6 at both services. This year, we are inviting you to bring a small framed picture of your saint to be placed around the altar during whichever service (9am or 11am) you attend. This is yet another way that we will remember and celebrate our saints.
Rev. Charles Wesley, the co-founder of the Methodist movement along with his brother John, wrote a beautiful hymn “Come, Let Us Join Our Friends Above.” In the first verse he wrote and we sing:
Let saints on earth unite to sing, with those to glory gone, for all the servants of our King in earth and heaven, are one.
We are one with our saints today and always. As followers of Jesus Christ, we seek to be saints today as we anticipate what is to come.
A Prayer for All Saints
I have always appreciated the beautiful poetic prayer for All Saints in the Episcopalian Book of Common Prayer you see below. Please join me in this prayer today:
Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.