News 

Season of Remembering and Remembrance

Rev Rosie Bunn
Rector, All Saints Church, Belton
ALL SOULS DAY pixabay


The first day of November (All Saints Day) ushers in a season of remembrance within the Christian church. It is a season in which helps us to celebrate and remember significant people through whom the grace of God has been seen to be powerfully at work

I often describe saints as people though whom the light shines, and who spur us on to better living and greater things; not just the stained glass windows portraying the lives of some of the saints. Burgh Castle certainly has some beautiful stained glass windows where this is the case, and the east window of All Saints Church, Belton contains the names of many well-known saints. These saints have been ordinary people who have become holy in the ordinary day-to-day circumstanc­es of life as well as the extraordinary crises of human living, recog­nised by others
 
All Souls Day (2nd November) is a day for the commemoration of the faithful departed; a time to remember with thanksgiving, the people we have known, who gave us life or nurtured us in faith and love. Both my parents died in the month of October, so for me this is a special time to remember them and thank God for them (which I often do) but in a more structured format
 
Earlier in the year, I had hoped to introduce this autumn a service of remembrance and thanksgiving for those we love but see no longer, but because of the limitations of current times, we have had to postpone this until next year. Such a service offers a safe space and an opportunity to:

  • remember, with a personal act of remembrance, individuals who we hold dear;

  • to thank God for the good times in the context of music, poetry, readings;

  • to support one another in prayer that God’s kingdom will be revealed finally and in all its fullness;

  • and encourage one another in our ongoing walk of life in the hope we have in Jesus Christ 

Many churches have a service on All Souls Day, and this year there will be one live-streamed by the Church of England from St Paul’s Cathedral in London. Some of you may find that helpful, especially if you have lost a loved one in recent times
 
This year many people will watch the Remembrance Sunday service on television rather than attend a service at their local church or war memorial. Remembering past conflicts and the costliness of war is important if we are to avoid similar conflicts, but more importantly we acknowledge our debt of gratitude to those who gave their lives in the service of their country
 
Remembrance Sunday is on 8th November, and there will be an act of remembrance at both Belton and Burgh Castle churches. At All Saints Belton we intend to have a short service at 10.30am outside in the churchyard, so that we can accommodate more people safely and socially-distanced. At Burgh Castle the Remembrance Service will be at the usual time of 3pm in the church. Please do come and join in the Remembrance Service at your local church
 
This year we have commemorated the 75th anniversaries of both VE Day and VJ Day; seventy five years since this land has faced the violence of war on our shores (although obviously our armed forces have been involved in many conflicts in recent years); something to be thankful for
 
The season of Remembering and Remembrance is rather bitter­sweet. Remembering with thanksgiving the good times, the people we have loved and the people we are thankful for, but holding together the pain of loss and the costliness of lives lost too soon. Particularly, this year, when many people in our villages are feeling isolated, lonely, bereft, it is important that we are kind to ourselves, and one another. A conversation on the telephone with a friend or over the garden fence with a neighbour; a “thinking of you” card received in the post, or even a bunch of flowers for someone special, could go a long way to helping the recipient through these dark autumn days
 
For me, this time of remembering ends with the focus on Jesus, with Advent Sunday focusing on the light of Christ, and so begins our family tradition of the advent candle that burns down a little each day until Christmas. Jesus, the light of the world, who shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome his light. The Bible tells us that Jesus stands at the door and knocks and if we open the door, he will come in and be with us. We are invited to open the door. Everyone is invited, not just me!
 


 

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