Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
- Book of Common Prayer, All Saints Day, p. 245
On November 1st every year, this past Wednesday, we celebrated All Saints' Day in the church. (We will also celebrate All Saints' Day on Sunday.) All Saints' Day is the feast of the church which celebrates the bond between those who have gone before us in the faith and those who are still living. It celebrates all the saints, recognized and unrecognized, who have changed the world through their belief in God.
While many people focus their energy on the celebration of Halloween each year, the celebration of All Saints' Day draws us back to the reality that we cannot be Christians alone. We are always and forever part of the body of Christ, part of the community of beloved children of God. The All Saints' celebration reminds us that whatever season of life we are in, being a parent, single, grieving, facing oppression, struggling with doubt or drugs or pain, overwhelmed with joy, there are those who have gone before us in the journey and been faithful to God throughout it all. Their stories are part of our family history, they are our brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, mothers, fathers, and cousins. God binds us together and we can take hope and courage from their stories for our own lives.