Halloween, All Saints Day, All Souls Day, oh my!
While I’ve always been more of a “pumpkin” rather than a “horror” Halloween gal, I do appreciate all the craziness of “All Saints Eve” ushering in the more somber observances. Reminds me a bit of Mardi Gras before Ash Wednesday. A few of us celebrated Halloween with the folks at Moravian Open Door, with a Halloween Bingo Night. There was camaraderie, and unity, as people with different life experiences and paths just hung out and enjoyed one another’s company.
On All Saints Sunday (November 6), we celebrate the saints we’ve heard about and read about. Some are well-known (St. Francis of Assisi, St. Jude) and some obscure and buried in the deep recesses of our church literature and resources. (I’m thinking St. Genesius, patron saint of comedians, and St. Lydwina, patron saint of ice skaters). We commemorate those officially designated as “saints” and the people of God over the ages who went without earthly recognition.
All Souls Day observance is part of this, and we’ll honor our own loved ones who have transitioned from this earthly life. We’ll remember and be thankful for their lives and perhaps for the very things that made them to whatever degree “saintly” to us.
We too are included. We, the saints still here on earth – yes, that’s you! And it’s me, and it’s lots of others we encounter each day, whether with delight or displeasure. We’re part of the Communion of Saints and it’s a vast and beautiful and sometimes irritating status. It would be so much easier to be a saint if it were not for all those “others” who bring out the, well let’s just say, the unsaintly in us. But, being a saint or being saintly is relational and that means we need the whole mix, the whole communion.
As St. Dymphna (patron Saint of anxiety and mental health) would probably say, “Just chill. We’re all in this together.” And when it comes to the Communion of Saints, we are truly in this together.
“You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” Ephesians 2:19