I sing a song of the saints of God,
patient and brave and true,
who toiled and fought and lived and died
for the Lord they loved and knew.
And one was a doctor, and one was a queen,
and one was a shepherdess on the green:
they were all of them saints of God, and I mean,
God helping, to be one too.
~From the hymn “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God”
Tuesday November 1 is All Saints Day. Figuring out when we observe this day in worship is sometimes up for debate in clergy circles depending on when All Saints falls. I tend to have our congregation observe Reformation Sunday on the last Sunday in October and All Saints Sunday as the first Sunday in November no matter how the dates fall (mostly for the sake of ease)!
As Professor Laurence Hull Stookey explains, “In the Roman Catholic Church only officially canonized saints are commemorated on November 1, and all other faithful departed are remembered with almost equal solemnity on November 2. Protestants have collapsed the two occasions into one. This being the case, All Saints Day is less about the great historic figures of the church than about people we ourselves have known and revered.”*
I find All Saints Sunday to be an important day in the liturgical year, and a powerful day. It reminds me that some of the most important and influential people in my own life won’t be found in the pages of church history books or on the cover of magazines. People I would label as “saints” are those who have been there for me through thick and thin. People who inspire me. People who are brave, faithful, kind, compassionate, loving, wise. Yes, these are the saints of God.
Who are some of the saints in your life?
Both those who have gone home to God before you and those who are presently beside you helping you on your life’s journey?
Let us praise God for our beloved saints.
*Laurence Hull Stookey, Calendar: Christ’s time for the Church, pg.148
Photo by Sixteen Miles Out on Unsplash
Thursday Thoughts 11/3/22