Today is November 1st. In the church calendar it is called All Saints Day. It is the day we celebrate and remember all those who have left behind their earthly ties and moved beyond the veil into God’s all-embracing arms. But now the question remains about how to move on without our loved ones. The word “difficult” comes to mind.
In our Bible we have this passage in Hebrews that offers us a way forward:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12: 1 – 2
As we remember our loved ones this day, let us also be mindful they would not want us to stop living. They are a part of that “great cloud of witnesses that surrounds us.” Even though my grandmothers both died decades ago, I still miss them and when I think about them I find myself encouraged as I remember the examples they set for me. What I know from my experience is what our loved ones would want for us would be to carry on living our best life. And in living our best life, find ways to honor the life they lived no matter how long…no matter how short.
If you would like something tangible to do on this All Saints Day, I would encourage you to take a moment sometime today and light a candle and say a prayer. If you don’t know what to say, I offer this prayer from the Book of Common Prayer:
Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
May you find a measure of peace today in your grief. May you feel God’s merciful arms wrapping around you. May you be given comfort and find consolation.