Janet`s November 2020 letter to the Community

Janet’s letter to the Community

As I said last month, I had intended to focus on saints for my articles in 2020, but circumstances (Covid-19!) required a change of course.  However, this month gives us the Feast of All Saints on the 1st November and the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed on All Souls’ Day, the 2nd November.  Pondering these two celebrations, I felt I could not do better than quote the introduction contained in the Church of England’s Common Worship:


“No Christian is solitary.  Through baptism we become members one of another in Christ, members of a company of saints whose mutual belonging transcends death.  All Saints’ Day and the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed on All Souls’ Day both celebrate this mutual belonging.


“All Saints’ Day celebrates men and women in whose lives the Church as a whole has seen the grace of God powerfully at work.  It is an opportunity to give thanks for that grace, and for the wonderful ends to which it shapes a human life; it is a time to be encouraged by the example of the saints and to recall that sanctity may grow in the ordinary circumstances, as well as the extraordinary crises, of human living.


“The Commemoration of the Faithful Departed celebrates the saints in a more local and intimate key.  It allows us to remember with thanksgiving before God those whom we have known more directly: those who gave us life, or who nurtured us in faith.


“Redemption is a work of God’s grace; it is God who redeems us in Christ and there is nothing to be done beyond what Christ has done.  But we still wait for the final consummation of God’s new creation in Christ; those who are Christ’s, whether or not they have passed through death, are joined in prayer that God’s kingdom will be revealed finally and in all its fullness. We also sense that it is a fearful thing to come before the unutterable goodness and holiness of God, even for those who are redeemed in Christ; that it is searing as well as life-giving to experience God’s mercy.” And this is why we pray for those who have gone before us, and for ourselves in our own journey towards that final meeting with God.


This year All Saints’ Day falls on a Sunday and will be the focus of our service on 1st November.  We will also be holding a “Zoom” Eucharist for All Souls’ Day on the 2nd, when I will read a list of names of the people our congregation and community wish to have commemorated before God.  If you would like to send me names to add to this list I will be very happy to include them.  Let us celebrate our belonging with those who have gone before us, as well as those whose company we still enjoy today, and remember, in these difficult times, that we are all held in God’s loving arms.

With continued prayers and every blessing for you all,    


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