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Our Celebration of All Souls’ Day

November 2, 2010

Last night at 7pm, the St. George’s community gathered to commemorate our faithful departed and to bless our Memorial Garden.  It was a beautiful service full of both emotion and celebration.  I am glad to be in a place which correctly honors this day that is important to many people.  After the Reformation, All Souls’ Day was just about done away with because of the abuses which had been laden upon it.  Many people were paying exhorbitent amounts of money to the church for Masses to be said for their loved ones who had died and believed to be in Purgatory.  The common belief was that for every Mass said for someone who had died, it decreased their amount of time spent in Purgatory by one day.  As you might imagine, the church made loads of money off this practice and the Reformers rightly did away with it (as well as with the erroneous idea of Purgatory).  But in recent years, many Anglican parishes have revived the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed on All Souls’ Day, not as some sort of vain bribe to God on their loved ones’ behalf, but as a chance to remember, honor, and bless those who have died and to give thanks to God not only for their memory, but for the promises of God to us that we shall be with him in Heaven awaiting the consummation of all things and the joining together of the New Heaven and the New Earth.  This coming Sunday, when we celebrate All Saints’ Sunday, we will read the Necrology (or the names of the dead) that have been entered into our Book on the Altar of Remembrance.

 

The Chancel Party from our All Souls' Eve Blessing of the Memorial Garden and Requiem Mass for All Faithful Departed

Fr. Ryan+

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