The Rector’s Letter for All Saints, Sunday 31st October 2021 (The Fourth Sunday before Advent)

My sisters and brothers,

As the nights get longer and we spend more time huddled at home we naturally become more reflective on those whom we love but see no longer, at time of remembrance which we also observe within the Church year.

In this coming week we celebrate All Saints’ and commemorate All Souls’, two days within the life of the Church which reflect each other in a beautiful act of prayer, and also remind us in our own lives how we relate to the whole cloud of witnesses.

On All Saints’ we celebrate the lives of the saints who have gone before us, who are supporting us and praying for us before the heavenly throne of God. Then on All Souls’ we pray for them, that they may be granted the joy to dwell within light perpetual.

It is a remembrance that the Church here on earth and the Church in heaven are not two separate entities, but are the one and the same, united within the Body of Christ, in which the act of prayer is forever active within our lives together, in this world, and in the next.

This is partly why within the Eucharistic Prayer I include the patron saints of the parish (the Blessed Virgin Mary, Joseph, Anna and Simeon are all named within the account of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple within Luke’s Gospel) as a reminder we are not alone, but are part of something far greater. When we pray for Christ to come among us in the form of bread and wine the saints join with us in our prayer, urging us on in our life together.

Rejoice in the prayers of the saints, rejoice in all who support us in this world, pray for those whom you love but see no longer, and seek the life which awaits us all in the next.

With all blessings,

Fr. Edward