November is a month that I know some of us find quite difficult with the clocks changed, the evenings darker and days growing shorter and colder. It is also the month of remembering, and that can, of course be painful. We begin with the feast of All Saints on the 1 November when we remember those who have kept the faith of Jesus Christ in times near and times long past. The feast of All Souls on the 2 November is a more personal remembering, as we give thanks before God for those whom we have known and loved who have died. In St Peter’s our All Saints and All Souls service will be held on Sunday 30 October and there will be the chance in that service to light a candle as we remember our own loved ones before God.
Remembering those who’ve died can make us feel sad, and yet we treasure the memories that we have. I’m sure I’m not the only one who sometimes finds themselves looking at old family photos through a mixture of smiles and tears. We are inextricably bound together with those we love, whether they are with us in the flesh or not. The love and lives of those we remember are like golden threads woven through the fabric of our own lives, helping to give meaning and context to all that we are. And as we remember them before God, and affirm the resurrection hope that we find in Jesus, we entrust those interwoven strands of love to him. We pray that through and in him our remembering would strengthen the fabric of our lives and the tangible and intangible connections with those we love.
I’ve recently come across this lovely prayer for this time of year from the Church of Scotland and share it with you.
God of all people,
not only the achievements of the great
but also the kindness of the humble
has touched and influenced our lives for good.
For ordinary saints, who helped your kingdom
take root and grow among us, we praise you:
fathers and grandfathers,
and unsung servants of the kingdom,
who have let us see Jesus.
We bless you for our fellowship with those
whom you have called to greater life,
and we prize the company
of those who still live around us.
Lord, find a place for all of them in paradise,
and bring us with your saints
to glory everlasting.
Church of Scotland: Book of Common Order
My prayers for you in your own remembering,
Read more clergy letters.