Grace and peace to you from God our Father and His Son Jesus Christ.
As we enter the celebration of All Souls, Commemoration of the Faithful Departed and All Saints Day, this is an opportunity for us to reorder our minds and hearts and receive the consoling love of God.
We who are many are one Body for we all share in the life of Christ. (Partake of the one bread).
As people of the resurrection this is not a morbid time, but a sincere meditation on the gift of life and a time of contemplation in gratitude for eternal life, received through Jesus Christ. Throughout the year we remember, on specific days, the lives and the impact of significant people who have followed Christ and now are at rest with Him. We thank God for their example and teaching. Now we remember those who have gone before us in the faith, and though unnamed and unknown to us personally, lived out a life of faith to give us what we have today. People who by their baptism and participation in the church kept the church alive. Who by their faithful giving, kept church doors open, who by their participation in the life of the church enabled us to have a church today (all Souls). We remember those who were personal to us, who played a special role in our lives, praying for us, encouraging us, being an example to us (Faithful Departed). And those unnamed heroes who made a significant contribution to our faith (All Saints).
This year our circumstances prevented us from mourning in the way we normally do. Attendance at funerals was restricted or impossible in some cases, and we are left with unresolved grief. My prayer is that over the next few days you will surrender your grief to God and seek His comfort. By remembering those whom we have loved and see no more, we honour them and we honour God.
You all know that the word ‘remember’ is of deep spiritual and theological significance as we make “members again,” as we reunite and participate with the communion of saints in our special way, not venerating them, but continuing to be influenced and grown and developed by them, as members of the one body of Christ. Every soul is interlinked with every other in the body.
As we give thanks to God for these special people in our lives may He continue to mould us and fashion us to be the people whom He is making us to be. Allow yourselves to grieve, allow yourself and opportunity to process your loss, to reorder your thoughts. Forgive, appreciate, embrace and rebuild. We do not mourn like those who have no hope. “And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.” (1 Thess 4:13)
We believe that those who have gone before us in the way of Christ are at rest in Him and so we can remember them fondly and with gratitude, their suffering is over, but their lives give us the confidence that God is faithful and will not fail us.
Be assured of my love and prayers.