It wasn't until I started attending my current church* that I came to understand what All Saints Sunday is about. As I understand at, in Catholic tradition, it is the day we commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in Heaven. This I interpret to mean, those who have to named as saints in the church. At my progressive protestant church, we tend to believe all persons who have transitioned from their earthly form into the realms of heaven, can be considered saints...no matter their status or condition here on earth. To us, all can be forgiven, and God welcomes home all his children.
Today I am grateful for all the saints in my life who have passed on, died to this world, and taken up residence in the halls of my memory and chambers of my heart. I am grateful for all they gave me in this life, the things they taught me, shared with me and that gave me insight into who I am today. For me, they are not dead. They are always with me, and I with them. I am grateful that this never fades, never changes, never dies.
In gratitude, I celebrate the day by remembering those saints and pray that I am passing on what they passed to me during this, my life here on earth.
*At First Congregational Church, Riverside-United Church of Christ, we have a tradition of lighting candles of those who have departed this world during the year prior. We also lay upon the communion table mementos and souvenirs representing those we wish to honor. It is a simple yet powerful way of remembering.
Rob McMurray, self described muser extraodinaire.