|Posted by St. Alban's Episcopal Church on November 2, 2022 at 1:10 PM|
This coming Sunday we will be celebrating All Saints’ Sunday. All Saints’ Day is always on November 1st and is one of the principal feasts of our Church Year. In the Episcopal Church it is traditional to celebrate All Saints’ on the first Sunday following November 1st, thus All Saints’ Sunday. We also tend to combine this celebration with All Souls’ Day, which is on November 2nd and commemorates all the faithful departed. This is why on All Saints’ Sunday we usually list the names of loved ones who have died over the past year.
In its origins, All Saints’ Day was largely motivated by a desire to acknowledge and commemorate the many nameless and faceless “saints” who became martyrs of the faith during the massive persecution of Christians by the Roman Empire. These were the thousands of Jesus followers (along with other Jews) who were executed for their refusal to participate in the Roman imperial cult, the beliefs and practices of which were in direct opposition to their faith. They did not become famous for their faithful integrity, but we do well to remember their witness.
What I find most inspiring about All Saints’ Day is that it reminds us that “sainthood” is about something more than becoming famous for extraordinary acts of faith. It is primarily about living one’s life of faith with integrity. Living and proclaiming our faith may not literally endanger our lives as it did those earliest Christians, but we are still confronted with direct challenges to faithful living; moments where we are forced to choose faithful integrity over convenience or comfort. In other words, we are all invited and given opportunities to live lives that express something of the holy. What a remarkable thing this is!
Yours in Christ,