Friday, November 14, 2014

Saints alive

As the thermometer drops to astonishing lows for mid-November, I share with you, in my next post, some final fall photos taken two weeks ago.
This month also includes what is turning out to be one of my favorite combos of holidays: Halloween/All Saints' Day/All Souls' Day. From the joy of dressing up (or greeting trick-or-treaters and remembering your own childhood), to the celebration of our connection with believers through time and geography, to the always-welcome Thanksgiving, November has gone up several pegs this year.
All Saints' Day, which celebrates the officially canonized and folks like you and me, is November 1 but in many churches was "moved" to be observed Sunday, November 2. The next day we remembered the saints no longer with us on earth, who this year were joined by my brother-in-law, Dave Burgwald, and my friend Nancy Milnes.
I rejoice in the hymns of these holidays, especially "For All the Saints." Beginning with the opening downbeat on the organ ("bahm" is my interpretation thereof), I rejoice in its message of the communion of the saints. I'll close with verses 1 and 4 of the 11 written by Anglican Bishop William W. How in 1864:

[bahm] For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
who thee by faith before the world confessed,
thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Alleluia, Alleluia!
[bahm] O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
yet all are one in thee, for all are thine.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

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