For All the Saints

Some of the most meaningful and sacred work we do together as the Church is journeying with one another through grief and loss. These past three years we have honored the lives of many incredible human beings whose impact on us carries on even today. This Sunday is All Saints Sunday when we honor those who have died. The number of names we will be lifting up is significant. My heart aches as I read these names and feel the loss and think of what each family and friend of these beloved people are going through. My heart aches a little extra this year because so many people were not able to honor their loved ones in the way they usually would because of COVID-19.

Rituals offer us opportunities to acknowledge and honor important moments in life. Rituals allow us to connect to one another and to God, reminding us that there is not a single part of life that we journey through completely alone. So this Sunday, we light candles. We read names. We look at photos. We gather at the Communion table. We name our grief and we celebrate the love that we have been blessed by in this lifetime.

I encourage you to take more time this week and beyond to honor those who have died and left a mark on your life. Pay attention to how you are holding these memories in your body. Find ways to honor those memories, be it in traditional ways like candle lighting or in personal ways that help you feel connected to your loved ones. And more than anything, I invite you into a time of prayer.

Along with the rituals, we will explore the story of Jesus and Lazarus. Take time to read John 11:32-44 and be reminded of Christ who weeps with his friends in loss. Know that you are not alone as you remember. Know that God and your Church family weep with you and journey with you when you are ready towards hope and life that exists yet still.

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