Wednesday, October 5, 2016

All Saints Day--Remember...Remember

(Oops--guess what--after being gone two weeks my mental calendar is all screwed up.  All Saints Day is November 2. I am a month early and a dollar short! I am not losing it--totally--but bear with me and maybe I will learn the month and year as I move on. If I write in July about Christmas you will know I have strayed too far. Thanks for patience and reading.) --RL

All Saints Day--A Time to Remember

"For all the saints
who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith 
before the world confessed,
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever 
Alleluia! Alleluia!"
 --William W. How, 1823-1897

Mary Jo Bang wrote after the death of her son: "You were the brightest thing in the shop 
window. And the most beautiful thing I ever saw."  I don’t know a better way to get at 
All Saints Day than these sad and powerful words. I have told my Grief groups that one 
of the things that saves us is gratitude. Remembering... Remembering...Remembering.

I know that it doesn’t last long enough. I know we wished with all our hearts there was 
more than there has been. You have told me that there are days so hard that you just 
don’t think you can make it. But on this All Saints Day the Church has called out the 
names of those that have died this year “believing that there is a prayerful spiritual bond 
between those in heaven and the living.”  But it just isn’t those that slipped into the 
mystery this year. This is a day for fondling the rosary of every name and every face that 
shaped you and made you smile. 

You might spend the day just thinking of him or her or them. You might stare at some 
picture or open some album and remember. There is a good grief and a poor grief. When 
we say a Doxology over those who have changed our lives—we grieve, “but not as those 
who have no hope.” 

At most of the funerals I have conducted the last few years I have leaned on that 
wonderful Benediction which comes from the Roman Catholic Prayer for the Dead. 

"Into paradise may the angels lead them; at their coming may the martyrs take 
them up into eternal rest, and may the chorus of angels lead them to that holy city, 
and the place of  perpetual light." Amen.

(The painting at the beginning of this piece is from Fra Angelico, 15th Century artist.)  

(I first printed this piece in a blog post for 2013. I love the spirit of this day--and wanted to share these 
words with you.)

--Roger Lovette /

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