All Saint’s Day

Starts: November 1, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Ends: November 1, 2012 at 11:59 PM


Thursday, Nov. 1st

5:45 pm Evening Prayer

Followed by Mass

All Saints Day is kept to commemorate all Christian saints and martyrs particularly those who are not otherwise remembered.  This was especially important in the early Church when persecution meant that so many were killed that it was no longer possible to commemorate them all individually.

The feast days of All Saints and All Souls become all important to us when we properly understand the Church’s teaching on the Communion of Saints. We profess our belief in the Communion of the Saints when we recite the Creeds of the Church.

The Apostles’ Creed also expresses belief in the Communion of the Saints. This means that the Holy Ghost unites the members of the Church into one common body that cannot be separated by time and space. As Hymn 207 says, “One body we, one body who partake, with all thy saints on earth and saints at rest.” This union answers the human need for genuine, intimate and mutually fulfilling relationships with others – as opposed to the false, shallow and selfish nature of fallen human relationships.[1]

The greater part of the communion of the saints consists of those who have already died. Because death does not divide the Church, the Church prays for the faithful departed in the Liturgy, “beseeching thee to grant them continual growth in thy love and service.” The Church also believes that the departed saints pray for the living, inasmuch as they are able. However, because the Bible is silent on this issue and because of historical abuses with regard to the invocation of saints (cf. Article XXII, BCP 607) Anglicans tend to be cautious about how they express this doctrine.[2]

The Collect for All Saints’ Day in the Book of Common Prayer says we should follow the blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living, so that we may attain the “unspeakable joys” that the Lord has prepared for us.  In order to do this, we need to know more about the Saints.  So many of their lives not only provide wonderful role models for Christian living, but they are fascinating to read about.  They were usually not dull, and often quite exciting.

Regular Christian commemorations of the dead are mentioned as early as the third century by several writers.  In the Western Church, the commemoration of the souls of the faithful departed occurred on the day after All Saints Day.  Regarding All Souls Day, the Anglican, Vernon Staley, says we are also called to remember “the less prominent servants of Christ, who have departed this life in His faith and fear.  The Article of the Creed teaches that we are in close relation to these holy ones beyond the grave, that they remember us before God and pray for us.”[3]  Love, like God, is eternal; therefore, we continue to love those beyond the grave and our prayers are the surest expression of that love.

If you would like your loved ones remembered at the Altar of St. George’s on All Souls Day, please sign their names to the sign-up sheet located on the back table in the church or at the table on the patio during Sunday morning coffee hour. – Fr.Hines+

[1] The Rev. Stephen Scarlett, Anglican Enquirers Class Manual, p. 7.

[2] Ibid., p. 7

[3] Vernon Staley, The Catholic Religion, A Manual for Instruction for Members of the Anglican Communion, p. 222, Wipf & Stock Publishers, Eugene, Oregon, 2007